Home > Uncategorized > Writing in order to write

Writing in order to write

It’s really amazing how much staying on a regular writing schedule makes writing so much easier. I’ve fallen off mine lately, though not for very long—I’ve not really written at all in three weeks—and already it’s back to feeling like pulling teeth. I’m trying to bang out a ten-page review of a book I’ve read twice in the past week, summarized in writing chapter-by-chapter, and presented to my class… In other words, this review should just fall out of my head, in two or at most three short writing sessions, but instead I’m limping along at a little over an hour per page. This is partly due to an overly active internal critic, which regular writing always helps to tame, and partly due to distraction, which regular writing helps to avoid by making the process feel familiar. This confirms my sense that a regular writing schedule is important not because it produces more pages (though it does that), but because it makes it much more likely that you’ll produce the pages you want to produce, when the time comes.

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  1. Robert Minto
    March 4, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    This is absolutely correct. An analogy would of course be the athlete, who trains his muscles over and over in practice so they will perform as desired in the actual game. Writing something that “matters” is a performance in the same way… Good post.

  2. March 5, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    The analogy with the athlete is a good one, Robert. It’s difficult to think of oneself along these lines, since my life is by default so unbelievably sedentary.

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