I was getting ready to head for lunch today and had to wait a bit because it was raining. I’ve started riding my bicycle to work so that I can squeeze in a little exercise into my busy schedule. With each day it gets a little easier as my strength and stamina increase. This made me pause and consider that writing is a bit like exercise in this regard. With regular and focused practice there will be improvement.
Improvement in what regard? Well, you may see these improvements in several areas but I think the most common areas would be:
Stamina. The more you write, the easier it will be to stay focused during your writing sessions. This will improve your ability to stay on task rather than succumb to distractions. As you increase your focus, it becomes easier to write longer pieces. Writing 1000 words doesn’t seem so difficult once you’ve developed the stamina to write 500. You will also find that the ideas come together with greater ease.
Technique. The more consistently you make time to write, the easier it will be to put your ideas together. Certainly it’s best to couple this with reading widely in order to get a sense of other authors’ personal writing style and experiment with a variety of sentence structures. However, it’s not until you experiment for yourself that your own writing style will evolve and develop. You actually have to put pen to paper to see how the pieces fit together.
Confidence. It’s a given that once you start to see improvements, even if these are incremental, then your confidence will increase. How will you know you’re improving? Ideas will come together with greater ease, you will develop a more consistent routine and you will feel more satisfaction with what you've created. An added incentive to this would also be to share your writing with others. Being open to feedback from others will provide a more objective gauge of how you’re progressing. You can do this by joining a writing community or class. Or if you’re really brave, you could start an online blog and solicit feedback from your readers.
I hope I’ve given you enough reasons to convince you that making time to write will pay off in substantial ways. Through improved staying power, technique and confidence. What are you waiting for? How important is this writing project to you? Wouldn’t it be better to jump in and get started?