19 July

How Writing Every Day Made Me a Better Person...


If you think becoming a full time writer is all about typing words onto a page, and nothing more, you’re missing the literary boat.

Writing every day makes you a better person. Seriously.

Writing, whether fiction or non, is 80% psychological, 10% skill, 10% practice.

Anyone tell you any different, and they’re lying.

It takes a vision for your future, determination to undertake that vision and true grit on the days that the writing comes about as easily as walking through Flanders Field mud as the WWI bombs are dropping all around you.

How Canadian physician, Lieutenant-Colonel Jon McCrae, managed to pen In Flanders Fields amid all the blood and death and filth and rats and bombs is anyone’s guess. Think of Lieutenant-Colonel McCrae when you decide to moan about your writing day.

There are several benefits to full time writing, chief among them is a permanent change in one’s maturity, personality. You learn that life, as in writing, is indeed the journey over the destination, for you have to find the joy and your reason to continue on those many lonely times when it’s just you and the keyboard and a cold slimy cup of coffee by your side.

  •  Patience.
  • Perseverance.
  • Knowing that greatness does NOT come from a 140 character social media comment or a 2-minute clickbait article read.

Greatness, great works, comes from much time, much effort, and much failure — coming face to face with your faults, for nothing better than the act of writing will showcase your human frailties and bring that big old Ego down to size.

Writing is Proof:

  • Sentences will show you’ve rushed.
  • Sentences will show you’ve not done your research.
  • Sentences will show you’ve chosen destination over journey in that rush to be “there” over the slow, determined trek to lifetime greatness.

You will learn Humility:

  • Hey, look, I’m not Hemingway. Hint: Hemingway wasn’t Hemingway when he started to write every day either, peeps.
  • Hey, not everyone on the planet likes my stuff. I swore that in my dreams the standing ovations and falling rose petals meant they did. Whodathunk?
  • Boasting, showing off is the truest sign of an amateur. It’s the quiet ones who sit back, observe and listen who have the most to say. Another Whodathunk?

You learn that Quality is in an ever-loving fight with Quantity, in this daily, hourly content gobbling world. That at some point, if you want public traction at all, you have to come to terms with your passion projects versus your output. One Magnum Opus every 5 years ain’t gonna cut it. Oh, and that dream you have of being the 1 in a million first book sales millionaire… great dream, but don’t hold your breath. This is where writing every day teaches you to face:

  • Reality
  • Your Ability
  • Your Skill

Or lack thereof.

In the above, if you:

  • Spend all your time Escaping from Reality  i.e. goofing off
  • Neglect your Sleep, your Food, your Exercise and your Mental Health
  • Refuse to continue lifelong Study in the Art of Writing

That innate talent you possess for writing full time will mean squat, nada, zilch.

Sorry, man, but I never promised you a rose garden…

Writing everyday forces you to look yourself straight in the mirror, reflecting back your lifelong warts.

The Good News: (yes, there is some!)

By facing your warts, you can slowly treat them!

That Bucket o’ Pimply Scourge:

  • Impatience
  • Quitting when the going gets tough
  • Working hard over pretending to work hard
  • Listening over Talking
  • Watching over Acting
  • Acting over Reacting
  • Admitting and Correcting i.e. Taming Your Ego

Day by day, hour by hour, slowly, ever so slowly, those warts melt away, and with each writing day under your belt, you become stronger, faster, more intelligent, more mindful — a BETTER YOU.

HOMEWORK: Today, look in that proverbial mirror of yours and list all the areas of your personality which need adjustment. Put that list on your writing desk and glance at it EVERY SINGLE TIME BEFORE you go to write.

You are not meant to be perfect.

You are meant to acknowledge your imperfections and use them as impetus to write, to gain insight in yourself and the world at large.

You do that, day in and day out, and I promise you, you will be as courageous, and as talented, as Lieutenant-Colonel McCrae in those godforsaken Flanders Fields.

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