Prolific Writing is a Practice

If you sit in your chair, if you show up, and start to type, you’ll eventually become a better writer. You’ll become more prolific. There are no new age secrets, mantras, crystals or candles that will make you a more prolific and poetic writer.

I just sit down, blast the techno music, and start typing in sync with the music. It’s incredibly mechanical. Steven Pressfield says you’re like an infantrymen.

Treat it as a practice. Make an agreement with yourself on what the outcome will be, one that you can achieve and have complete control over.

  • You have no control over how your work is received.
  • You have no control over how many people will read or like your next post.
  • You have no control over making something go viral.
  • You have no control over whether what you write today will be the best thing you’ve ever written.

The most important thing you do each day is to honor the agreement you’ve made with yourself.

As a writer the bulk of your efforts should be spent focusing on the thing you do control. What you control is your decision to sit down and type.

Part of why people aren’t prolific writers is because there’s nothing sexy or difficult about it. Making things harder than they are gives us an overinflated sense of productivity or accomplishment. To be a prolific writer you do the same thing at the same time every single day. It’s like Groundhog day.

It’s not the life of Hank Moody on Californication where you might manage to write a sentence or two between womanizing and debauchery (although that might be more fun than being a real life writer).

Do this enough days in a row, and your habit becomes your identity. You’re no longer a person who has a task to write each day. You’re a person who writes each day. It’s a subtle but profound difference that will make all the difference between you becoming a prolific writer and not.

Side note: This morning I wrote nothing but gibberish for almost 40 minutes until I arrived at everything you just read above.

I’m the host of The Unmistakable Creative Podcast. You can subscribe to it via itunes

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