Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Secret to Writing Success is...

Scott D. Parker

The secret of success is constancy to purpose. --Benjamin Disraeli

That quote is engraved on a paperweight I have on my desk. I bought it from Levenger years ago as a daily reminder that my proclivity to procrastination would always hold me back. In the years that I didn't write, I would look at that quote, lament I wasn't writing, and them go do something else, sometimes--but not always--with guilt pangs.

Then I tried a writing streak in 2013. It lasted 255 days.

Today marks a milestone in my fiction-writing career: I match my longest writing streak at 255 straight days. With today being the 255th day of the year, I have also matched my goal of 2015 (so far): write every day. Not every day was a productive as the next. Some days were as little as 67 words. Other days I topped 4,500. Word count didn't matter. Only the writing streak.

If there's one thing that I can stress about writing it is the quote from Disraeli. The secret of writing success is just doing it, over and over, for a long period of time. The words add up. This may seem like slow going at the beginning, but before you know it, you'll have 1,000 words, then 10,000, then 50,000, and then 100,000 and beyond. The secret of success is constancy to purpose.

The simplest rule about writing is just keep writing and preferably, don't stop. The other piece of advice that I can give to any writer is to be able to write anywhere, anytime, anyplace that you find yourself. I do have a set time to write everyday (5:00am), but I carry my iPod around and write on it throughout the day. It has made all the difference in my writing life, and it just might be the thing that turns a frustrated writer into a satisfied writer.

Start a writing streak. Keep at it. The words will come and before you know it, you'll have a story, or a book. Then do it again. And again.

The secret of success is constancy to purpose. I looked at that paperweight for years and didn't really get what it was trying to say. Now I understand it. It is allowed me to tie my writing record today.

Tomorrow, I set a new record.

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