Consistency & The Slippery Muse

When my dad was in the process of writing his first book, I’d see him working at it every single day, even if just for a few minutes. He’d sit there in his robe with his coffee before heading off to work, adding some small tidbit to his story. That’s cool, I’d think, but my muse doesn’t work like that.

I’ve always been more of a sprinter than a runner, both metaphorically and physically. I like to get a ton done in a tiny amount of time, then take an excessively long break from the project. I always felt like I was getting so much done, because – after all – I did just write three chapters in one weekend… last month…

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A couple weeks ago, I had a stretch where the muse happened to stick around for a handful of consecutive days, and I decided to use the momentum to commit to a daily word count. I cringed at the idea of it, but I’d heard so many writers praise the persistent dedication to consistency that I knew it was time I gave it a try.

My goal was 500 words a day. Well, as it turns out, those writers before me were right. Like any practice, every time I stretched my creative muscles it made it easier for me to jump in and crank out another chapter. Most days I found myself writing between 1,000 and 1,500 words.

It’s not easy, but having a daily word count is something I would definitely recommend now. If I can stick with it, my first draft of A Whitewashed Tomb will be complete before the end of the year. I’m still new to this, so if you have experience and advice regarding consistency in writing, I’d love to hear it in the comments below! And if you haven’t tried a daily word count yet, let’s give it our best together. Happy writing!