written by Valarie Budayr
Hello creative readers and writers!
Please take a moment to watch the video below. Truly it takes literally one minute and is the inspiration for today’s post.
How awesome was that??
Did you notice that the walking gent in the video is taking only a couple of steps in each frame? And that these two little steps in each frame took him to 11 countries, countless modes of transportation, and a myriad of experiences…and all in 44 days?
So how exactly did this inspire me as a writer? Do I want to hit the road and write about each destination?
…but that is something all together different than creating a writer’s life.
Daily, I get hundreds of emails , as well as meeting people, who all share with me that “one day they want to write a book”.
I don’t know when “one day “ is arriving, but I can promise you that “one day” doesn’t arrive with a fan fare. It just sort of sneaks in. Before “one day” sneaks in, there are a couple of things that need to happen.
You need to begin writing.
We are all waiting for the day when everything will be “perfect.” The day that is pleasantly mild enough for us to be outside, is also the day that is just cloudy enough to make us want to stay indoors.
On our Perfect Day we’ll wake-up inspired with a total book in our heads, completed with plot, dialogs, and setting intact. Also on that Perfect Day there won’t be any interruptions, we won’t be tired, and our stamina for our writing endeavor will be endless. There is always the “one day” when the “Perfect Day” will arrive.
BUT..if you wait for “perfect, it will never, ever, happen. The “perfect” story, book, or magazine article coming out of you on the first go around will not happen. Writing isn’t about being perfect, it’s about enjoying the creative process. There is a lot of honing that goes on in that process as well. It’s not judgement , it’s honing. Writers need to show up daily to their writing practice and it only takes 10 to 15 minutes a day.
Though I don’t have the specifics on when “one day” is , I do know that you and I only have today. So today let’s start a writing practice.
1. Remove all distractions– It’s time to disconnect everything i.e. phones, email notifications, and Skype or IM’s. Also when it’s your designated writing time, this is not the moment to order a pizza delivery! Don’t answer the door. Don’t answer the phone. This is your time. Your business, life, and the world can go away for 15 whole minutes. I promise you , all will be well.
2.. Schedule It!- Take out your calendar or cell phone. Schedule your 15 minute writing practice, every single live long day on that calendar for the next month. For me I’ve found it helpful to do the same time everyday. This point doesn’t matter. The point that does matter is that every single day you are going to write something. iPhone apps like Evernote or even Cozi work well for this process.
3. Sit Down!- At the appointed time, sit down in a chair at a table, or desk or curled up on the sofa, but please have a seat.
4. Set Your Timer- Use your phone, oven timer, any type of timer. Set it for 10 or 15 minutes.
5. Take your Implement!-Put your pen or pencil in your hand if you’re writing long hand. Or place your fingers on the keys.
6. Start writing!-Do not put down your pen or pencil. Make your little fingers weary with typing. Do not stop for any reason. Even if the phone rings, the UPS man comes, the pizza boy is delivering. Do not stop. In fact,..
7. Don’t Get Up Until You’ve Written Something!- Just jot down any thoughts you have about any topic. It doesn’t have to be a novel, even a simple paragraph is a great story starter.
From My Desk: There were a couple of things which led to my daily writing practice. The first was that I started a journaling program created by Julia Cameron called The Artist Way.
Every morning as I first woke up, I would write 3 pages in my Artist Way journal. I did this for a year and was amazed in the beginning that I could write that much. As time went on, I could actually write more than that.
The second thing I did was start a blog. My blog A Place Like This was created to capture a daily moment with my family. It’s a collection of the time we spend together. I created it wanting my children to have something, a reminder of the wonderful times we have together.
In the beginning, I had no idea that blogging was a daily writing practice, but it is. I now know that I have to show up daily to get that blog post published.
I started a daily writing practice 7 years ago and never could I have imagined what was in store for me. Four blogs, two books, and a Publishing House with two imprints later, my life has evolved into a life of writing.