Literary legend Ernest Hemingway once said:
“When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light is possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. Your write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live though until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through”
An Exercised Writer Is a Healthy Writer
Writing is like exercise or playing the violin. If you don’t continuously practice, you’ll lose your skill. You don’t have to practice very hard or for too long. The simple act of regularly writing will take you far enough.
Form a daily habit of writing. Whether it’s in your journal from Day 1 or on a blog, make sure you write something every day. Even if it’s a paragraph to begin with, the act of starting to write will get your creative juices flowing.
Practice. Practice a lot. Even if you don’t have something in mind, grab a piece of paper, your notepad, or even your laptop. Move to a place where you know you won’t be disturbed, and start writing. Just write about whatever idea crosses your mind. You may end up writing about the lottery numbers your mother played yesterday, about the beauty of the neighbor’s garden whose flowers are blossoming, or even about your crush who you saw this morning. The point is to exercise not only your creativity, but also how you manifest new ideas.
Deadlines Don’t Matter
Unless we are talking about your day-to-day job, writing is not meant to become something you work at as if it’s a high-school essay. Writing is meant to be for you, whether for therapeutic reasons, such as a journal, or the enjoyment of telling a story. If you treat writing like work, you will end up hating it.
Maintain Your Self-Health
A “writing muscle” is useless without the physical body and mind behind it. To be a better writer, you need to make sure you’re in the best possible health. Reduce your stress as we taught you in Day 1, get plenty of sleep, and keep up your healthy physical exercise routine.
If you practice the daily habit of writing, soon enough you’ll be writing novels without even thinking about it. Writing is funny like that. Ideas may evade your mind for a while, but once they start flowing, you won’t be able to stop them.