“A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labors of a spasmodic Hercules.”
This is what writing is all about.
“Don’t call yourself a writer if you don’t write every day. It’s an insult to all the people out there who are writers.”
I have been teaching this stuff for fifteen years. I see this all the time. “I’m gonna take time off and do it,” is something I hear a lot. It’s a death trap. YOU HAVE TO WRITE EVERY DAY or you will never do it. Saving up vacation time to write your novel is no good. Telling yourself you’re a writer is no good. You have to WRITE every day. Take one day off, which one is your call.
I hear this from professional writers all the time. Write every day!
The fear of perfection is something that slows writers down. For some reason, lots of people see the need for it to be perfect, the first draft, as an occasion they must rise to. Why? It’s writing. The first draft is supposed to be crap.
Melissa Scrivner is a writer for CSI: MIAMI and she knows her craft. She’s way talented and spoke to my class this past week. She said that the first draft is like a cocktail party, you can talk to people but you really don’t know them well… only in the second and subsequent drafts, can you get to know your characters.
I have had students so afraid of their work not being perfect that they didn’t turn in an assignment all semester. Not often, but I have seen it enough to know that it’s not that unusual. They were afraid that what they would do would not be perfect, so they wrote nothing… that meant, of course, that they had nothing they could fix… so they ended up with no little pile of pages and an F for their trophy case.
Write every day.
You’ll be surprised how thick that pile of pages will be in a month or two.
And, the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Pretty soon, it will be 1.) less effort and 2.) more fun than NOT writing.