Millions of people say they want to write a book.
You’ve claimed the title of writer, and yay you! That’s actually a huge and tough step. But you’re a grown up, and you can handle the difficult truth:
You gotta want it.
This is apparently what they say in the US Marines, about that twentieth pull up, or slogging through the mud in the rain on a fifty-mile hike.
Am I saying that writing has a lot in common with battles and wars?
Consider me your drill sergeant.
You gotta want it bad.
Because then you will set out after it and not stop, or give up. Or procrastinate (too much). Whenever you start to falter, despair, or threaten to throw in the towel?
Repeat to yourself, “you gotta want it.”
Or maybe, “I gotta want it.”
If you want it, you will write. You will read. You will get good.
And you will meet success.
You’ve heard it before, but here’s the real bottom line (heh) of getting inspired:
BIC or Butt in Chair.
Ideally, same time, every day.
Routines are the real muse.
If you show up everyday, even for short times, the words will come.
But when and where to show up?
Each of us works differently. Many of us are juggling lots of other things and can only carve out limited time to write.
If you want it, you will prioritize.
Family, writing, job, dazzling social life?
Probably one of them has to go.
Here’s what works for me:
Early a.m. until early afternoon are my best hours.
Longhand, sometimes, for doodling ideas.
Meditation when I’m stuck. Actually, it does wonders anyway, whether I’m stuck or not.
Frequent snack breaks. Presently, I’ve got dried mangos and chipotle peanuts at my desk. And always chocolate.
It’s good to get up and stretch even as often as every 45 minutes, according to one study, although not if you’re on a roll. If you’re on a roll, for heaven’s sake keep rolling!
If you really want it, you can work anywhere, anytime. On the bus, on a train, in the hospital, in a parking lot, or in a dimly-lit cell.
Once you have routines, inspiration will come.
I know you’ll discover your best ways to be productive and write.
Figure it out, stick to it, and keep reminding yourself: You gotta want it.
Good luck, soldier.