Consistency is underrated.
Most people want to get THERE quickly, thinking that at the end of the rainbow is that pot of gold we have all been dreaming about.
To get six-pack abs, you have to reject the waffles even if the smell calls out to you every time you pass by the waffle stand after work. You have to train daily to develop muscles, lose body fat with a balanced diet. Easier said than done but, ultimately, you need to skip the waffles.
Writing is the same. You may have to skip a few social events for writing time. Looking back to a painful past can be emotionally taxing - who wants that? There are many comforts to give up.
Here are simple - but not so easy - tips if you aim for consistency.
It starts with one
One of the important things I learned from attending Dr. Joem Antonio's memoir writing workshop is this -
write one sentence per day.
Do it after work, during lunch break, while waiting for your ride. One sentence today, then next day, and next. See where that takes you.
It does not get any simpler than that.
Read widely with intent
Studying the work of others exposes you to different styles, beliefs, and possibilities.
Before I started reading memoirs, I thought my personal narratives can never make it into any magazine but they did. All thanks to reading.
After devouring Ann Patchett's non-fiction books, I fell in love with writing - deeply in love - once more.
Here's a tip. If you want to read faster, read the right books. Read what you need.
For not sticking to the habit. For not meeting the deadline you set for yourself. For choosing an afternoon nap over that essay. For resting. For not resting enough.
Give yourself the grace and compassion to begin again.
The best person to extend forgiveness to you is yourself!
Once you do, go back to the first tip. Remember, it starts with one sentence per day.
Have fun with the process
Fun and process are two words that don't usually go together but writing can be all sorts of fun.
Writing is a way to express yourself, to bond with others, and tap into your creativity.