Make Writing an Addiction

I remember perfectly well those dreaded moments in literature class when the teacher would give us big writing assignments. Even if it was just a paragraph, it was like a direct punishment from the gods.

“I want to write when I damn want to!” I would yell (internally) to Mrs. Sweetest-Lady-In-The-World.

I would later go home, wait a week, maybe a month, and the day before the due date I’d rub my palms in preparation (or rather in last-minute panic), and began writing like the wind.

Years later, having finally decided to write a novel, I found myself tapping my fingers relentlessly and checking my watch every three seconds. It happened daily.

As soon as my day at work ended, I would rush home like my life depended on it, and ripped the laptop open.

Then I’d brush my hands in delightful agony. “Time to write.”

*     *     *

Writer’s block can be a complete brat, especially when writing for a living. You can reprimand it, you can spank it, you can give it candy, yet it will keep demanding your attention.

What we all need is discipline. You need to discipline yourself to write. Make it an assignment, like your high school teacher used to do. No, not even that. Make it an addiction.

After you come home from school or work, or even right after waking up, sit down and write. But make sure to put everything aside: the phone, the Cosmopolitan magazine, your high school diploma, your hair, the TV… Oh yeah, turn off your Wi-Fi. TURN IT OFF.

Then write anything. It can be a sentence, a paragraph, it doesn’t matter. You can set bigger goals later, just don’t torture yourself while you’re starting; you don’t want Writer’s Block to feed off of your misery.

To make yourself crave it, repeat this every single day for at least a month (at first) and imagine that if you skip a day, something terrible will happen (you’re welcome).

Afterwards, you will stand up from your chair, stretch your arms, and rub your hands together in the pure satisfaction of having accomplished your daily goal.

 

“Army Photography Contest - 2007 - FMWRC - Arts and Crafts - Follow the Light” by “LT COL Neal Schneider” Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC-BY2.0). Accessed 15 May 2014. http://www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/4929686797/

“Army Photography Contest – 2007 – FMWRC – Arts and Crafts – Follow the Light” by “LT COL Neal Schneider” Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC-BY2.0). Accessed 15 May 2014. http://www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/4929686797/

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