Write Everyday, Even If You Hate It

Pen

 

For the last three weeks, I was forced to write everyday in order to complete a presentation for an English symposium and to complete my creative writing portfolio for a public reading (each are requirements of my major and emphasis). The problem initially was my lack of enthusiasm. I have, in the past, written not based on routine or discipline, but because I like writing and I enjoy it immensely.

Writing essays seemed to be the only type of writing that I deplored and had to remain attentive and disciplined in order to finish, but this week, writing an essay that required discipline and also writing a collection of stories that I usually enjoyed writing, led me to the conclusion that both require the same work ethic to be successful. Discipline and consistency.

I was uninspired to write many of the stories that ended up making their way into my portfolio, but I didn’t have time to wonder and deliberate because it was also necessary to finish my essay. So I opted to put myself on a schedule for my creative writing as well, even if I didn’t feel inspired or motivated. At first I was frustrated, staring at an empty page trying to find something from nothing.

Eventually a thought enters my mind and I write it down and then research and come back to it, but nothing was very inspiring or beautiful, or the typical tropes of inspiration and delight that I usually think of when I think of a writer writing. Instead, I was extremely uncomfortable looking at the sort of dribble I was creating and forcing myself to continue on. This is the sort of exasperation I feel when I write an essay, but as I revise, as I ponder over the difficulties of my arguments, the essay itself begins to persists throughout the day as I struggle to figure it out.

The same all-consuming process became my habit as I wrote my portfolio. Initially, I hated everything I was writing, but because of that frustration and lack of inspiration I was persistently thinking about a way around it until I devised an idea and sometimes had to write it down on a scrap of paper or in my phone until I was back home.

At the end of this period, I finished my essay, as well as my creative writing portfolio, and I ended up writing more than expected, with what seems to be the first chapter of a book. This has made me consider how I’ve treated writing. Perhaps because creative writing and creation were not elevated in most of my schooling (encouraged, but essays, analysis, and other subjects took precedent), writing always came as a respite, the time I took to sit down away from “work.” But now, writing is my work, and I have to become comfortable being frustrated and forcing myself to do something I don’t want to do. It seems alien to me, but it works, and it’s effective.

I’ve now started writing a lot of stuff by hand, and I forced myself to keep a pad on my lap, even when I’m watching television or out and about, because inspiration comes when it wishes, but sometimes it has to be coaxed into being. I’ve also learned that there can be no room for fear of failure or appalling writing. If it is at first appalling, the earlier such unlike-able and unreadable qualities are written down on the paper, the quicker I can revise and erase them from my memory.

The lesson I supposed is this: don’t be afraid to be bad, force yourself to write everyday, carry a notepad around with you, and think of writing not only as a pleasure, but work, which requires the time and effort to be effective. In order to hopefully continue on with this lesson, I’ve decided to challenge myself, beginning today […] to write everyday, until I’m sick of looking at my own handwriting.

Keep Writing!

 

 

This guest post was contributed by Zip over at Zinkwell. Zip is a recent college grad, who is striving toward a career in a creative profession. Check out Zip’s blog for more of her articles. 

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23 thoughts on “Write Everyday, Even If You Hate It”

  1. Writing every day – and forcing yourself to do it – is a great way to just get something finished. I can’t tell you how many stories I started and gave up on because I became disenchanted with them, even though I really wanted to finish them. The key is to just write them. It doesn’t matter how bad they are, because you can always go back and change them.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. You are so right, the way to complete something is to keep working at it. You could always go back and revise something you’ve written down. But if you haven’t written it down you can’t revise it.

    Like

  3. I am on vacation from teaching for the last week. I had not been able to write for the last three weeks of school and I hated it. NOw that I am home, I have tried to be at the computer for at least ten minutes of every hour. It has been fantastic. Usually I am there for far more than ten minutes and need to take a walk to get the blood flowing again!
    Have never written so much flash and blog prompt responses in so little time. I am in nirvana!

    Like

  4. That’s why ninety percent of the time I hate writing. I love the moments when everything is flowing on a creative high but those episodes are far and few between. I do try to write every day no matter if it’s as excruciating as having teeth pulled.

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  5. I started doing the blog as a way of getting myself back in the habit of writing every day. It gets my juices flowing,
    For years I have carried a pad of 3 X 5 Post-it notes in my shirt pocket. It has become a vital tool because I could never remember all of the things that end up on the notes.

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  6. When I was in college, I hated writing essays because I felt like I couldn’t truly be creative. I was so focused with getting the facts down and making sure I had the bullet points I outlined. I think that did a lot to keep me from enjoying writing to its fullest. And I think that’s why I drifted in and out of writing. I didn’t enjoy it then, even though I pursued it as a concentration in my studies.

    I still struggle with writing every day. I feel like if I don’t have something worthwhile to put down on paper, then it’s not worth the time. But I need to write every day. It’s the only way I’ll get better.

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  7. Yep, just do it. Exercise and build that muscle. I have notebooks everywhere and ideas sentences scribbled on the back of receipts, shopping lists, under the crossword in the newspaper…

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  8. I’ve been blocked for nearly two months. I’d write on my blog, but my books remained untouched. In the past, my characters have had something to say which helped me to write. Now they were silent. I’d decided on one and tried to write on it, but the words weren’t there. I tried working on several others, but the same blank. Figuring I needed the break, I stopped pushing myself. I get in the mood to write, but it often faded by the time I clicked onto a book. I wanted to make a serious dent in my next book while the one I just finished was being edited. I’m trying, but can’t even come up with an outline. I’m beginning to feel like a one-book wonder.

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  9. Discipline with my writing is definitely the hardest thing for me; mostly because it’s always been ‘my thing’ and I tend to brush it off for what other people consider to be important. It’s something I’ve been working on over the last year or so. ^-^ The times I have managed to keep writing everyday for long periods have been awesome, and I want more of those.

    Thanks for the excellent post. Keep fighting the good fight!

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  10. Reblogged this on Speedy Reader and commented:
    I have a hard time with this. We have a LOT of people in our house and only one computer. I have a tablet, but some days I don’t get any computer time until late at night. By then, I’m not very creative. I need to find a way to write every day any way I can. I’m still working on it.

    Like

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