How a Book Is Born, Part 17

Partway through the NANOWRIMO month, someone dropped me a note that included the phrase, “when you’re writing.” Now, when I have a crazy-stupid deadline like I did with Catch a Falling Star, I get hyper-focused and let lots of stuff fall by the wayside (discussed in an earlier post), which I don’t normally do. But I got the impression that the writer thinks there are times — days or weeks or months — when I don’t write.

There aren’t. I write every day, every week, every month. I’m not always under a tight deadline, and so I don’t always spit out four thousand words a day, but I do write every day. I think it’s essential to keep the forward momentum going. It’s way too easy for a day to turn into a week to turn into a month and then years from now you’re scratching your head wondering what ever happened to that book you were writing when your high school senior started kindergarten.

Look, “habit” and “discipline” are words that make me break out into hives. I’m spontaneous! Free-spirited! I’m not a slave to the clock or the calendar! But the only way I have managed to do anything meaningful in my life is through habit and discipline, even if the exercise thereof requires me to use a lot more hydrocortisone than I otherwise would.