Present word count of WIP: 48, 925
Our second responsibility as writers:
2. We have to work at it regularly, hopefully on a daily basis.
There are two key words here–”work” and “daily.”
You mean writing takes work? Oh, yes!
A lot of readers have the mistaken notion that artists get their inspiration in a flash of genius. They sit before their canvas, their potter’s wheel, or their blank sheet of paper (whether real or on the computer monitor) and wait for the muse to fill their heads with an idea, a concept, a situation, or a character.
Actually, those kinds of flashes come at odd times (I get a lot of mine in the shower), to be acted upon later during our regular writing period.
Why have a regular writing period? To condition our brains for creativity. No artist becomes good without practice and conditioning. Like athletes, we must exercise our creativity, craft, and imagination every day in order to keep them in top shape. Whether I know what to write next or not, if I don’t force my fingers to begin typing, the door to my creativity stays closed. Once I begin, however, the narrative begins to flow and it’s always a wonderful surprise to see its path develop before my very eyes. Even when I’m trying to keep to a vague outline, it will change direction in surprising ways.
The key is making it happen on a daily, or almost daily, basis. A true professional artist will carve out his/her creative time in the daily schedule, bar the door, forbid interruptions (except for true emergencies), and set to work. The more you keep to the schedule, the easier the art comes.
And we owe it to ourselves (as artists), our patrons (as art lovers), and the Master Artist (who set the example when the world was created, one part at a time, in a regular, methodical fashion).