One of the main things people say when I tell them I’m a writer is that they too have toyed with the idea. Like it’s something that you just do for a moment because it’s fun. I mean, it IS fun. But that’s not all it is and I know it’s not something I could ever do for just a while. Even a coma wouldn’t stop me from writing, probably. Death could potentially stop me, but hey, that’s where the term ghostwriter comes from, right?
The main struggle with writing, in my opinion, is not having a deadline. I think not having a deadline makes it far too easy to procrastinate. Especially when you’re querying as you write. Sometimes rejections can make you question your abilities and the whole purpose of pouring your soul and heart onto the pages. Again, I could never stop writing, but I can take a break. And those breaks are dangerous. For one thing, you lose momentum and get out of touch with the characters you’re currently spending time with. Also, the sooner you finish your project, the sooner you can query again, and the sooner you could land an agent.
The more I write, the more I realise, just like with every other thing that needs to become a habit, that it’s not about inspiration. It’s about discipline. Of course, motivation helps, but if you really want to make something a habit, you have to first make it a habit. For instance, I used to be as sporty as a bag of nails, but recently I was fed up and wanted to get in shape. I motivated myself with pictures of dream bodies and envisioned my goals. But most importantly, I went. I now love going to the gym and go three times a week without fail. Even when I don’t feel like going, I simply drive to the gym. Once I’m there, I’m fine. And I usually end up having one of my best workouts. It’s really as simple as just getting dressed and driving to the gym. Just like you can open up your laptop and sit down.
The muse is a romantic image, but the muse is also dead. It’s you, the page, and your characters. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because that’s why there are second drafts. But if you make writing a habit, you’ll at least never have to worry about not writing. Think of how productive you’ll be, and use that image to motivate you. Not that you’ll need it, because all you have to do is sit down and open up your laptop. Easy peasy.