Guest Blogger Ellen Sussman writes about “An Argument for Daily Writing.”
You want to be a writer. But…
You’ve got a demanding job. A demanding spouse. Demanding kids.
You wrote a novel that didn’t sell. You wrote two novels that didn’t sell. Three? Four?
You don’t have a snazzy office. You don’t have the latest computer. You write at a café and the moms bring all their screaming babies to that café.
You don’t think you’re good enough. Your high school English teacher told you you’re a lousy writer. Your mother told you that your brother was smarter than you are.
You have a hangover. You have carpal tunnel. You’re hungry and there’s no food in the house.
Excuses are easy. Writing is hard. I’ve got one way of silencing all those voices. I go to work every day. Writing is my job. So I show up. Screw the hangover. Screw the high school English teacher. Screw the screaming babies.
If I had to make a decision whether or not to write each day, I’d be a basket case. There are too many good reasons not to write. But my decision has already been made. I’m a writer and so I write. Daily. Regardless of whatever crazy thing is trying to distract me.
I think it’s better to write for a half-hour every day than it is to find a time, when the muse strikes, to sit your butt in that chair at your desk. Because daily writing teaches you the practice of writing. And the more you practice the better you get.
Ellen Sussman is the New York Times bestselling author of four novels, A Wedding in Provence, The Paradise Guest House, French Lessons, and On a Night Like This. She is the editor of two critically acclaimed anthologies, Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave and Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex. She teaches through Stanford Continuing Studies and in private classes.