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Showing up for Writing

Showing up for writing—regularly

In the first days of creating a manuscript when we writers sit down to write—or rededicate ourselves to writing—it is often a struggle to find the energy to show up for the task. So many things seems to compete for our attention. We ask ourselves about “the point of all of this” and “who will read this book anyway” and “will people find this memoir a bit lightweight.” But showing up—regardless of what negative thoughts go through your head—is important because that is how a habit is formed. The first ten or so weeks of writing are when you will grow the habit of writing. You will begin to need to write, to find sustenance from writing. That sustenance will keep you writing.

People have said to me, “The first months were the hardest. After a while, the writing was something I did out of habit. I didn’t necessarily like it but I showed up whenever I said I would. The after a while something happened. I didn’t feel good if I didn’t write regularly. I just didn’t feel as if I were all right. My writing seemed less of an effort, and I even thought it was better. My stories were adding up, and it made me happy to see how much I was accomplishing.”

Underpromise and overdeliver

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