Feeding the Writing Habit

Just because you write fun, wild, crazy things doesn’t mean you always get to have fun writing. Believe it or not, if you want to do it to any extent beyond leisure time activity, it’s going to be work to get your words in.

Outsiders may try to diminish that truth. “How does writing a story about space koalas invading Earth and enslaving the men for breeding stock (they harvest the women and children for food, obviously) qualify as work?” they might ask.

“Because writing is fucking hard and takes a lot of fucking time, you fuck!” you might respond, because you are tired of answering this question. Or maybe that’s just your default way of speaking to people. I don’t give a fuck.

“Wouldn’t they just eat eucalyptus?” they might stupidly continue.

“Space koalas stopped eating eucalyptus as a primary food source ages ago. It’s more of a recreational substance nowadays. When the fuck were you born? The 2700s?” you would say if you weren’t entirely fed up with them by now. They can space google that shit.

But we’re getting off on a fucking tangent and I just remembered I’m not writing the post defending overuse of the word fuck. Now I think I might have fucking overdone it. Eh, fuck it. (We’ll be doing that post later. Inspired by some fuckery that I read.)

So writing isn’t always easy. I’d argue the only time it really is easy is when you are attempting something else of importance. Like sleeping. Then writing becomes the easiest thing in the world.

But how do we take writing, and make it something we feel a need to do, an unhealthy compulsion? I say unhealthy (and obsessive) but it is much better (more productive) than a (expensive) drug habit.

If you play your cards right, writing may even come to fund your drug habit! But if you really want to be a writer, you may want to look into alcoholism. Not that drug use isn’t fairly traditional among writers but I kinda put drugs on artists with a more painty medium while writers get the alcohol association. But we are digressing… again. On to…

The Ritual

First thing you need? A living human virgin. Gender doesn’t matter but they must be of age. (Otherwise what the fuck worth does their virginity have? They’re a dime a dozen. I guess by that logic, the older the virgin, the more potent for sacrificial purposes. Did I just spill the beans? I said sacrifice didn’t I. Yeah, I said sacrifice. Screw subtlety in its… well, subtlety doesn’t have an ass does it? It’s an abstract concept. That hasn’t stopped me from saying it before but… I can’t keep the brain train on track today.)

Next, you prepare the place of sacrifice, usually a raised platform of some sort. I’ll assume you know the steps. It doesn’t matter where you get the blood but animal is preferred for this part. Just write the parts of speech (in blood, from your animal of choice) around the outer ring of your regular old, traditional sacrificial circle and…

“That ritual is for something… else…”, comes the voice of my head’s resident necromancer.

“What?” comes my excellently witty reply.

“They just want to hear the simple things you do to make writing a habit in your life…”

“Are… are you sure about that?”

“Mostly positive.”

“I’ll take your word for it. But if it doesn’t work out…”

“Yeah, yeah. We’ll return to the sacrifice.”

Alright. So, as I was saying. You take that virgin and you make them a nice sammich. Then you send them on their way… I mean, unless they’ve seen your face. I suppose I should add wearing a mask to the beginning steps. Ah well, if you’ve made it this far it’s too late.

“They don’t know what step one is until you publish it. You can still…”

Moving on!

Fuel Your Habit By Way of Non-Necromantic Ritual

Unfortunately, writing isn’t like hard drugs. Or chips. You can’t just eat one (Can I say that without getting sued?) chip. You can’t eat just one cocaine. It’s the whole bag/brick or nothing!

You CAN eat just one writing. It takes time to turn writing into a habit. Here’s what I’m doing.

1. Try to sit down and write at the same time everyday. It doesn’t matter what you write. Your novel? That would be great. A mostly garbage blog post? That’s what I’m doing right now. Grocery lists? Sure. Just write. Form the habit. Grocery lists can be the gateway drug.

I’m working on this. I try to get up when my wife leaves for work. Once I put the boy on the bus, I can usually get a couple of hours of writing before the girl wakes. The only problem? I’m not a fucking morning person and I fucking hate doing anything that requires movement before about noon. Still, I do it because that’s how shit gets done. Proud to say this was written this at the ass-crack of dawn.

Most of us have a time of day we would rather write. If that time of day works with our schedule, great. But I’m not a proponent of the mystical bullshit that says “Write when you’re inspired.” You write when you have time, and preferably at a uniform time each day to help form the habit. (I could write a post on this alone. I guess I will some other day.)

2. Keep a means of writing on your person at all times. Out and about and have time to kill? Waiting in lines, appointments, commutes in which you aren’t the driver… I mean, if you think you can write and drive at the same time. No, never mind. You didn’t hear that from me.

So, no time wasted. Write. What do you write? Again, doesn’t matter what. Personally? I find it almost impossible to work on my novel or stories while I’m out. Jotting down ideas, sure. But a fun one is this. Write from life, like an artist might draw. Try to capture snippets, snapshots of people going about their activities in writing. Maybe you can use it for something later. Worst case? You reinforced the habit and you flexed your writing muscles.

3. Find something that doesn’t distract you to keep going on in the background or something you do right before writing (and try to  only do it before writing). Light music in the background. Some exercise before you start. (I have to get back into that exercise thing. This is what I’m going to try. Exercise then write.)

Before too long, when you do that thing, you’ll feel the need to write. And if you don’t write? You’ll get headaches, shivers, vomiting… all the classic signs of Writer’s Withdrawal. That’s what we want.

An example. I play music when I wash dishes. When I hear music, I kinda wanna wash me some dishes. Apparently it works both ways.  The instant I turn on the sink for any reason, the girl says, “I want a song!” I can leverage this. I can make my writing an addiction to the other inhabitants of my domicile. Then I will be expected to write! A piece of candy for the puppets whenever it is my desire to sit and write in peace and quiet?

So, I’ll call it donezo there. I’ve got other shit to write. So that’s a blog post knocked out today. Now I’ve got to upload it. Who knows if that will ever happen, am I right?

What do you do to make writing a habit? Let me know in the comments down below.

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