Thursday, June 14, 2012

15 Habits of Great Writers: Build

"A writer doesn’t just start things; she finishes them. Do this enough, and you actually build something worth paying attention to."  ~ Jeff Goins

To start is not to build.  There is a BIG difference, and I am grateful to today's Habit for forcing me to acknowledge this.

I have started many things in my life:  a scarf I was meaning to knit, a recipe book that is only half-done, even a few novels that never made it past the second or third chapter.  But today is a day to break those bad habits.  Its requires true discipline.

Why do we need discipline?

  • Because one discipline begets another. Take up the habit of jogging or working out and just see how it affects the way you approach the rest of life.
  • Because sometimes the Muse doesn’t clock in until you do. Stephen King pictures his inspiration as a blue-collar guy who doesn’t show up for work until the boss (which is you, by the way) does. Show him you mean business.
  • Because it’s good for you. If you take writing seriously, you’ll do serious (i.e. better) work. I promise.
Jeff's blog challenges us to finish something...anything.  And remember, yesterday's habit reminds us that it doesn't have to be pretty.  Just get it out!

"So, pick a creative project you are working on ~ an essay, a blog post, a query letter, a picture book ~ and finish it!  Not tomorrow.  Today!

It should never take longer than 30 minutes to finish anything. If it does, you’re not breaking the project up into enough chunks. Which will lead to stalling, your worst enemy.

Find something and move it across the finish line. Then do the same thing tomorrow. And the day after that. And so on.

If you’re still doing this in a month, you’re building something. Until then, you’re just managing tasks. Pick a few that are worth your time, and keep with them. Your work deserves this."

I will be working on the manuscript that I outlined yesterday.  I will strive to get it done! 

Happy Writing!

1 comment:

  1. Ohhhhh, this is so the one I need to work on most. Thanks for posting all these posts on the 15 habits. They've been totally helpful. Though also scary. Finish something? Eek!