Are You A Daily Writer?

I write. I write in my journal, I write in my blog, I write in our business blog and I write, scribble, jot down stuff and ideas that get into my head when I am reading books. I’ve written all sorts of things – from letters to the editor, travel articles, commissioned pieces, to short angst-filled pieces, short stories (soppy and crappy though they may be) and assignments in my student days.
You would think that writing is easy as I’ve been writing for so long.
I can tell you, it isn’t easy. Writing takes a lot of time, even though friends think I can spew words out like a fire hydrant. You know this thing about the Muse? When the Muse isn’t there, the Muse isn’t there. I struggle for words, sometimes I struggle to think of a topic. I can stare at the screen and not a single idea swishes by.
That’s why constant, disciplined practice is needed. Like karate, writing is a skill that can be improved. I challenge myself all the time. That’s why I keep myself reminded of the writing mode by starting a blog in 2002 although I was in a job that needed me to write every single day (yes, as the editor of the now defunct women’s web portal, i-asianwomen.com I still needed to write, besides editing and going through contributors’ pieces).
I admire people who write daily. I have a friend who does just that. He logs his writing hours faithfully. He makes no excuses about time. He sticks to his schedule and he shuts himself in his study to write and write and write some more. I love his loyalty to his Muse.
I am a procrastinating writer. I write, then stop, then start again. And I need constant reminders to write. So I do the next best thing – I blog, I journal, and then I read what other writers’ write! It keeps me shamed enough to constantly make time for writing.
I want to write a book about autism. I want to write a book about mentoring young women, how to chase their dreams. I want to write a book on Cantonese soup recipes. I want to write prose that simmers with lushness you can devour such as the one by Malaysian writer, Preeta Samarasan (who wrote Evening is the Whole Day – I read the first page and went, “Oh damn”. Finally a Malaysian writer who I really want to luxuriate in!)
How to write every day?
I read this piece today and want to share it with you, if you’re a writer or want-to-be-a-writer-writer like me. I suggest you sign up for their blog posts too because I think we all need constant reminders to get us back to what we ought to be doing (despite rejection… my entry for Silverfish Writing Competition was not good enough so it’s really back to the drawing board). But I carry that rejection with more hope than ever. Rejection only means the only way to go is UP. And to get UP there, one must re-examine what went wrong.
Go ahead, go read How to Write Everyday and Why You Should.
I’m waiting to get my copy of Preeta’s book and totally indulge!

4 thoughts on “Are You A Daily Writer?”

  1. Hi Maya,
    Really glad you found my post useful — and that you like Daily Writing Tips in general. ๐Ÿ™‚
    A podcast that’s really helped me to stay motivated with writing is “I Should Be Writing” by Mur Lafferty … http://isbw.murlafferty.com/ It’s a great, honest, inspirational podcast. When I first found it, I (very sloooowly) worked my way through all the archives. It’s focused on fiction, but still might be useful to you for blogging and non-fiction writing inspiration.
    Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t write every day, though … you’re right that sometimes, the muse just doesn’t wanna play ball.

  2. Hi Ali: Oh wow, thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It just made my Monday! I know, beating up my Muse isn’t going to work. I know beating myself up isn’t going to get me anywhere either. I will check out your link and once more, I am glad I found your blog. I hope everyone here, or at least those who harbour hopes of being the next big writer thing will subscribe and read your blog.

  3. Have you ever read ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog at Midnight’ (if my memory and 3.44am faculties are intact)? That’s a stunning read into the mind of a young autistic boy.
    Are you still writing every day?

    • Yes, I loved that book. It was so bittersweet and warm and lovely and real. When I read that I told Nic and Nic told me he has some autistic tendencies (his words, OK, not mine). That’s why he’s the mad creative sort. Due to his autistic streak I guess. That was one book which made me really think how it would be to be autistic or blind or deaf!

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