As far back as college, I remember hearing that true writers––that is, those that aspire to be great––write every day. It’s hard to do. A job. A life. Even laundry, can all get in the way. I’ve even caught myself. I have my idea I’m working on. I don’t need to write anything just yet. Or I’m working on this project, so no additional writing is necessary.
What I wished I’d heard back then––if it was indeed said or merely implied––what the absolute benefits of putting original prose to paper every day really were. And now, finally, I’ve figured out the greatest benefit.
Artists of all types work on their craft to become masters at it, sure. And all of their work gets better with practice, I’ve known this. But working on the craft itself every day changes your outlook on how you view the world. I imagine things differently. More ideas come to me. And it’s all in preparation for the next exciting project.
I’d imagine that it’s similar to music artists who write song after song, but include ten or twelve songs out of a hundred on the actual album. (The perfectionists like Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen are famous for doing this. Just Springsteen is okay releasing his b-sides prior to his own death.) How many uninteresting songs accompany the good one on some albums that you have on your iPod? Those tracks that you could do without may have provided that songwriter the discipline and foundation to write the song you love. Or the hit song. If someone had shared this simple concept with me years ago, I know I would have committed to writing every day many years before.