Writing Exercises: "Building Your Writing Stamina"


There are two attributes every writer has that makes them a true writer. Desire and discipline. As Greaney points out, many people who have the desire to write do not actually desire the discipline of investing the time and dedication it takes to write.

For a writer, the desire to write means that you want to write as much as you want to do anything else. If writing is an item on your bucket list, it minimally has to be at the bottom of your top three things. If you really want to write, you have to be tough on yourself, you have to take time out of your life and truly make your writing a priority. With this of course, writing will require sacrifices. Whether that means you're sacrificing certain activities in your daily schedule or reserving free days on your weekend for writing, it has to be done.

The word discipline is like a bad taste in your mouth, no matter what context the word comes with, you're always wrinkling your nose. Sadly the Dickensian punishments that come with being in violation of discipline will always apply, no matter what career your in. Writing, as you know, depends highly on self-discipline. It is the very key to your writing career. Writing is half inspiration and half perspiration. Yes having one and not the other of these two can throw us off, but that is where being tough on ourselves comes back into play. The worst practice writers can get into is the art of excuses, brainwashing themselves into believing their excuses to be more important than their writing.

This is why it is vastly important for every writer to develop a daily writing habit. The first thing to consider when developing your new writing habit is that "weekend writers" are so rare they're practically a myth. The weekend is always packed with things you couldn't do during the week, thus more often than not, you're dooming yourself to a writing schedule that limits you to a couple of hours of writing at best. Even if you are just a beginner when it comes to writing (or developing your writing schedule) developing a daily writing habit is easy. Begin by setting aside at least a solid ten minutes, set a goal for yourself (a word count, a chapter, a short story or flash fiction piece) and write. Set a time if it makes you feel better.

A note from Greaney for writers starting a new job or rejoining the workforce: do yourself a favor and accept the fact that you may not be able to write in the same way you did before. You can easily assume that getting a new job our returning to the workforce will come at the cost of long, uninterrupted periods of time to write. This may also come with the need to completely and utterly retrain your writing schedule. Be ready to problem-solve and think outside the box when reassembling your weekly writing schedules. The most important thing is to keep writing.

Ten minutes is your new mantra, no matter what get ten minutes to write every day. You'd be surprised by what can be accomplished in ten minutes (say like this blog post). These ten minutes are crucial if you are just starting out.

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