I’ve heard a lot of people push the philosophy of only writing when they feel like it—when inspiration hits them.  Hey, if you can use that method to produce quality material as often and as reliably as you want, then great.  But I favor the opposite approach: I like to apply myself on a mind-numbingly regular basis, striving to leave my heart in the writing each time.  

I like to apply myself until it feels unnatural not to.


19 thoughts on “Musings

  1. One of the authors I enjoy (he is not for kids, although found in the kid section), Philip Pullman, is reported to go out to a shed in his backyard where he spends hours each day writing. Whether or not it is publishable, he always writes.

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  2. I’d like to throw my two cents in the ring with a dissenting view, if you don’t mind. Although I must caveat: it’s not entirely dissenting. I think there’s great wisdom in what you and others have said which essentially boils down to “staying sharp” through practise. This is a law of martial arts as well (which I also practise).

    When it comes to writing however, I am one of those people who would only write when the inspiration hit me– and yes, it was the only consistent way for me to produce quality work. Whenever I would force myself to write, I felt that I was just wasting my time, and would almost invariably end up deleting everything I had written, because it was such garbage.

    Yet, there are two keys here: first, that I did say “almost” invariably– which is to say, once in a great while, I choked something meaningful out of my forced creations. Secondly, that even though inspiration was my only way of achieving “consistently” quality material, it did not provide me consistently with *any* material at all. Both points of which, lend support to your notion that you should write all the time.

    Now I am writing regularly. I don’t always feel inspired, so I don’t try to write the things I normally would, when I don’t feel inspired. I write something different altogether– for instance, my blog. I write the things I might have talked about on FaceBook, or occasionally some small snippet of creative work, if that’s all I’ve got. It’s definitely going better for me, writing all the time.

    So like I said, not a fully-dissenting opinion. More like an alternative angle on it: write whatever comes to you, when writing all the time; write your great works, when you’re inspired.

    Be well. 🙂

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    • No problem! I don’t think it’s really a dissenting opinion, just a nuanced analysis, which in my experience typically leads to increased functionality. I like to break every problem down into “intent, strategy, tactics.” I think it’s safe to say we share the same intent—producing a quality piece of writing—but that our strategies differ. All I can say on that is, use whatever strategy works! I tend to hew to the disciplined approach, and if I need support or evidence I’ll start referencing all the cliches by the time-honored greats like Steven Pressfield, Stephen King, etc. etc. But if what you’re doing gets you where you want to go, then I’m not one to argue. 🙂

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