The Success of Habit

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I have wanted to be a writer for a very long time, but something has prevented me. For years, I have written stories in my spare time, spent vacations dreaming and scribbling away on plots, written character names on the back of school papers when I should’ve been doing the homework on the other side.

I wrote a short novella in high school, I wrote a full-length novel during college, and when I lived overseas for a year, I wrote a screenplay. Like many writers will attest, the desire to write is a compulsion, something we are not really able to control. However, the time to do it and the dedication to persevere is a constant struggle.

You see, in the past, I’ve felt guilty about my writing and frankly, a little ashamed, especially as I’ve gotten older. When you’re a kid, it’s one thing to scribble stories. When you’re twenty-two and still scribbling, you kind of hesitate to tell people your greatest desire is to be a writer, especially since you have nothing “published” at this point (which is the first question people always ask, right?).

At twenty-eight, I made the decision to go for this. I mean, really go for it. Shortly before my birthday, as often happens, I was doing some fairly intense introspection and realized the only thing that was keeping me from being a writer was me. Talent makes a writer, yes, but so does determination, and it was this will to fight, to push through in my writing, that I had lost somewhere along the way.

Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio, my favorite screenwriters, put it this way: “Bad writers are bad because they stop too soon…the only quality, I think, that marks the writer as different from everyone else is simply an unwillingness to quit. Others give up when they learn writing is hard; the writer struggles on.”

So I write. It’s nothing fancy. Every morning before work, I simply go to a café around the corner from my house and write for about an hour and a half before heading into the office. Right now, success for me does not mean publication, success means habit. I will never be a writer unless I am writing. All the time.

This blog is a place to share the journey with others. Some mornings are frustrating and flat. Nothing comes or I don’t like where the plot is going, but there are other mornings that I remember why I’m doing this, and I just try to soak in the exhilaration and enjoy it.

I’ve put my hand to the proverbial plow. No looking back.

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2 thoughts on “The Success of Habit

  1. I wish you all the best on your endeavors! Your attitude is so refreshing. So many writers I know whine about not being published when they haven’t so much as typed a few words in months. Love this post!

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