How to develop a writing habit
A lot of writers are ‘inspiration writers’.
That means that they only write when they feel inspired to do so.
These writers are not very good at getting a lot of words on the page quickly, and they tend to spend years writing their novel, and that’s if they even finish it at all.
Take it from me.
I used to be an inspiration writer.
I never felt like writing unless I had an incredible idea.
Guess how much I wrote…. maybe fifty poems in three years, and the start of the same novel seven or eight times.
Inspiration is nice, but it definitely isn’t reliable.
Why inspiration will never be reliable.
Inspiration isn’t reliable because writing is hard.
Inspiration and creativity love fun, so when writing is fun, those things come easily. When you’re feeling inspired and creative, the whole creative world seems to be on your side.
What eventually happens, though, is that every writer gets stuck.
Getting stuck is not very fun. So writers stop writing due to lack of creativity and inspiration.
What I’m trying to say is that inspiration isn’t reliable.
It’s definitely not reliable if you want to become a successful or prolific writer.
Being a writer requires that sometimes you have to write things that aren’t fun. Inspiration doesn’t always show up when things aren’t fun.
In fact, it rarely hangs around when things get tough.
Fixing sentences and ploughing through times when your book isn’t so fun to write takes hard work and dedication.
Inspiration won’t hunt you down and force you to write your book, and even if it did… would you pay attention to it every time it comes over for a visit?
Instead, I’m going to suggest that you start dating inspiration.
Make yourself available for inspiration.
Inspiration will start to show up more regularly if you create a habit of your work.
Sometimes you have to show up to the location first for inspiration to strike.
If you don’t go to the place where you set up a date, how do you know if your date showed up? Sometimes inspiration will show up, but only after you’ve sat at the table waiting for ten or fifteen minutes wondering if you’ve been stood up.
What I’m trying to say with this very strange metaphor is that inspiration will only show up reliably if you show up to your page reliably.
Like a relationship with a real person, you have to put the effort in.
If you don’t spend time with your S.O, they leave you. If you don’t spend time with inspiration, it will find someone who does want to be inspired.
I hate to break it to you, but you’re the problem, not your inspiration, creativity or muse.
It’s not that inspiration isn’t showing up. It’s not creativities fault. The reason that you can’t or won’t write reliably is you. You won’t show up, sit down and wait.
How do you expect to come up with ideas if you never give yourself long enough to think about them?
Now, I suggest that you go and sit down in front of your blank page and wait for inspiration to take you back.
Go on now, shoo. You’ve got a date to prepare for!