Congratulations. You’ve made the decision to take the plunge into the world of writing. It brings you great joy. You write your first piece/ blog post and you publish it online. You can already see that picture in your mind – the one of you signing autographs for your fans at a book signing organised by the local bookstore. The thought of it gets you fired up. You quickly open Microsoft Word and write another story. You’re on a roll. Then it all comes to a halt. You become stuck. You haven’t written in over two weeks…soon it will be a month. Being a writer is not as glamorous as you thought. The huge motivation you once had is slowly waning.
Have you ever found yourself in such a situation? I’m sure you have. I’ll tell you the reason why.
Have you heard that word before? You might have come across it a few times in the past but do you know it is critical in your pursuit as a writer? It determines how far you will go. That’s how important it is. To be a writer, you have to write. To be a good writer, you have to be consistent. That means writing even when you do not have any projects you are working on. It also means tasking your brain to think about creative content ideas you can write about even when you don’t know if you will ever publish them.
Here’s what being consistent does for you:
- It helps you to improve your writing. The more you write, the better you become.
- You build your body of work. When you commit to writing everyday, you are building your portfolio. You never know when a client will come along and request to feature that article in their magazine or on their website.
- It gives you something to fall back on when you are stuck. Writing consistently about anything can provide useful content for those times when writer’s block strikes
- You become a disciplined writer. By writing everyday, you build a habit of discipline in your craft. Discipline goes a long way. A lazy writer can never be a successful writer.
You see why you cannot afford to joke with consistency? In case you’re wondering how to be consistent with your writing, you can start with these few tips:
- Start a blog. Yes, I’m always advocating for writers to have their own blog and the reason is because it helps you to become consistent. Commit to putting up at least a post everyday on your blog and see the difference it will make to your overall productivity.
- Choose a convenient time and location to write. Some people may find it boring to choose an particular time and place to write everyday but trust me, it works. Remember I told you about discipline? When you are able to discipline yourself to write everyday at a particular time and location, you become a better writer. You don’t have to go to a fancy place to write. I write in the comfort of my bedroom where I have my mini office. Just make sure the place you choose is somewhere that will allow you get work done.
- Have a special book for your ideas. I love notepads and journals. I never go out without one. You should do the same if you want to become a consistent writer. You may get inspiration while you are on the bus. It’ll be a shame to let that inspiration go away simply because you have no where to put it down. I know you have a notepad on your phone/ tablet but it is much better to have a physical notepad.
I leave you with this quote by Steven Pressfield:
“There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.”