Back in the early ’90s, when I was attending all sorts of writing and poetry workshops and actively participating in writing group discussions, I was encouraged to “write something every day, even if you don’t feel like it.” This was good advice when I thought I wanted to be the next great American fiction writer, and I tried to follow it judiciously.
But once I was writing prose for a living, this advice seemed irrelevant. I was already writing stuff for my clients. Why should I also write something on my own, for no money? Taking such a flippant attitude was probably where I lost my way as a serious writer of serious things (i.e., a person who keeps a journal and/or writes fiction/poetry all the time).
I do actually write something every single day, whether it’s email, personal or professional blogging, or just fragmented thoughts on a notepad. What I’m not doing is working on polishing anything original, like a short story or a poem, or even the beginnings of an article that might someday get published. This is what was meant by “write something every day.”
Promoting my business to the wider world is moving up on my priority list, starting with the networking event this evening. And as long as I’m motivated to print out new business cards and post something new on my business blog, I might as well use that motivation to write something completely unrelated to my business.We all have to begin somewhere, when we start something new. Adding a new daily activity can be difficult to habituate, and I certainly don’t expect it to happen overnight. So I’m going to start with today and see how it goes. (Monday always seems to be the day when I try new things!) Today I will write something non-email, non-blog, non-note… Something with purpose, something that interests me, something that could take me somewhere new.