I wish I could find this again so that I could be sure to quote it accurately, but a couple of weeks ago, a friend posted on Facebook something to the effect of, “Writers write. Posers write tomorrow.” Possibly, there was some other word in place of “Poser.” The point is, that quote really kicked my butt, and has become yet another mantra for me, and I pass it along in the hope that it will inspire others.
There are days or weeks even when I don’t feel like writing. I’m not in the mood; it’s hard; I have so much life stuff or other work or whatever providing a perfect excuse for procrastination. But here’s the truth: every day I don’t write it becomes harder to write the next day. Every day I do, it’s easier to pick up the pen again. Creativity is something like a muscle. If you work at it on a regular basis, it becomes easier, the strength of your words and use of your time that much more productive. If you get into a routine, you get things done. It’s much like the theory of studying they teach you in school – if you study at about the same time and under the same conditions every day, you’ll be preconditioned to focus on absorbing the knowledge and buckling down, and your time will be better spent. Writing is like that for me.
It’s easy to become so daunted by the action or emotional scene in front of you that you fear your ability to write, but if you shy away from it, it will certainly never get written. Accept that it might not be right the first time. Or the second. Or the third. Commit to putting the work in. Accept that you might need to rewrite entirely. But sometimes you only find the proper path by allowing yourself to get lost in the woods, trying this way and that. But if you never wade in, you’ll never find your way to Granny’s house to save her from the Big Bad Wolf.