Becoming a Writer - A Lifetime Challenge

06 Dec 2013

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“I hate writing, I love having written.” ― Dorothy Parker

Me?. Becoming a Writer?. Yes. That is in my mind for many years. I simply lived as Dorothy quoted above, wishing myself having written the best books that I read. I write only when I am inspired to write. Even then, there are times where I drift off from the original idea or my idea gets refined during the writing process that I no more believe in that idea. Yes. This is true. You get clearer when you write down your idea and proofread what you have written. I evaluate every blog post that I write, for two things.

  1. Does this blog post exhibit my happiness or convey a message?
  2. Will this article be relevant or useful after 10 years?

I mercilessly killed all other drafts which do not pass this evaluation. In 2013, I wrote 25 articles + 10 deleted drafts. Statistically, I got inspired to write on 9% of the days in this year. If I continue to write consistently, I may be able to publish a 350-page book in 10 years. Does not look good to me!. I decided to write more.

Goals Vs Rituals

With many different challenges that I completed this year, I slowly realized the difference between focusing on goals Vs focusing on the rituals.

The focus on goals is very inspiring in the beginning, and when the inspiration drains out over time, it becomes stressful. Since you have started the goal and communicated to the world, there is a pressure to complete it. I have experienced this in many situations in my life, prior to 2012.

The focus on the rituals is boring in the beginning, and when the habit sets in, it feels like a breeze. Rituals are the daily routine that you do to accomplish the goals. No matter whether you are inspired or not, you should complete the tasks for the day. I know how much you can accomplish if you stick to your simple rituals. The year 2013 is a testimonial for me.

Becoming a Writer is one of my big dreams. What do I want to accomplish?

Write a personal development book? ― Yes.
Write a fiction novel? ― Yes.
Write a sci-fiction novel? ― Yes.
Write a technical book? ― Yes.
Write more in blogs? ― Yes.
Change the world with my writings? ― Yes.

I want to do everything that a writer could do. Basically, that’s me. When it comes to imagination, I never put a limit on my thoughts/goals (Simply that I am reality-challenged person)

But, the only way to accomplish any of those goals is to focus on realistic rituals. Hmm. Let’s get real, here.

Writing Rituals

I want to keep my rituals simple, realistic and does not demand a lot of my time & energy. This is very important to keep up with the rituals on a daily basis. Below is my new ritual starting today, until the end of 2014.

I will write for 15 minutes a day, 4 days a week, until the penultimate week of 2014.

No Goals. Only one simple ritual. Cool. right?. This ritual roughly translates to 55 hrs of writing. This practice will install a “dedicated writing habit” in me, which will help me to become a professional writer in future.

Other Questions

Will I publish a blog post 4 times in a week?

No. My evaluation criteria still hold good. I will publish only when it is good to publish. Just like when digging a well, the muddy water comes first and then the clean spring water, the first few days or weeks of writing may be completely non-sense / junk etc (especially on the days without inspiration). I hope I will learn the tricks of the trade to get clearer thoughts on paper on any normal day.

Blogging is the only outlet?

Most of my writings will find its way to my blog. However, I may choose to write on paper and may reserve some content for a specific book. I will let my writing choose its outlet.

Will 15 minutes be enough?

The purpose here is not to accomplish any goal, but to develop the habit of writing consistently. 15 minutes in the minimum mandatory time. I will increase the writing time, depending on my inspiration, available time & others tasks on that day etc.

Why now?

I recently became the member of the facebook group “Live Your Legend - Creators Guild”, created by Scott Dinsmore. I was inspired by so many people starting to write. Along with that, few of my facebook friends and one of my real-life friend “Sruthi Pandarinathan” are writing books (novels, stories, poems etc) now. All of them are first-time authors. They are going to struggle and travel the same path that I am going to travel. Why not travel together?. I hope to get a lot of support and feedback from everyone and I may be able to provide same to others.

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