Lit Life | One Page at a Time
Written by
Lori A. May
May 2016
Written by
Lori A. May
May 2016

I do not have time to write two thousand words today. I did not put that task on my to-do list. There are, in fact, many days where such a writing goal seems impossible, given the other life to-dos that somehow always make the top of the list. If I want to keep saying writing is a priority, though, I have to make good on a promise to myself. 

Many writers speak to the power of morning writing—getting up just a little earlier to put one’s writing first on the day’s task list, even if that means a mere ten or fifteen minutes with pen in hand. Why? Before life’s distractions of the day get in the way, there is little reason you can’t sit down and put two hundred words on a page. These needn’t be Pulitzer Prize-winning words. The morning brain should give you permission to put any words on the page that add up to something: a sense of accomplishment for sticking to your goals, a rough idea for an essay, a few thoughts that can later be revisited and expanded upon for a higher quality draft.  

The point of putting words on the page is that it is something. And something is always better than nothing when it comes to making writing a daily habit. No one sits down to write a whole book in a day. Rarely does a day’s writing result in a full chapter. Rather, writing is a process where a sentence leads to a paragraph and a paragraph leads to a page. If you’ve ever read Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird, you know what I’m talking about.   

We hear the same advice over and over: writing is a game of persistence, patience, and practice. That morning commitment to write—a page, a half a page—is where practice plays out. In time, the words add up. With practice, our words and confidence builds so that when we do make time to sit down to write for a few hours there is no roadblock. We can get right to the good stuff. 

Want advice and inspiration for making daily writing a habit? In addition to Lamott’s Bird By Bird, here are a few other resources to explore: 

Fifteen minutes. One page. A mini-goal will lead to creating a daily writing habit. What will you do to make writing a priority?

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