Re-Starting my Writing Habit

I just signed up for Jeff Goins 500 words challenge. It’s pretty straight forward, you write 500 words a day (on a different prompt sent to you by email every day) for 31 days. This is my first one. I signed up because I want to re-start my writing habit. I used to write everyday when I was in college, whether it was a paper that was due, or poetry, or a short story I was working on, I was always writing something. I always had a reason to be writing back then. Even after I graduated, I wrote for an art blog I started with a photographer friend of mine (it’s called porkbellytimes if anyone is interested in the Miami art scene from 2 years ago). Now, I haven’t been writing nearly as much and the truth is I miss it.

Writing has always provided great benefits for me. It clears my head, it let’s me focus on one thought at a time, it can be therapeutic if need be, and I just enjoy putting words to the page. I don’t need to be convinced as to why I should be writing, I already know I should, and that’s why I’ve taken on this challenge. Like any other healthy habit, you need to work on it, and I haven’t been for far too long. I didn’t take this on to get me back on track to writing the next great American Novel, or a sonnet sequence, or the screenplay to the next summer blockbuster, but if any of those occur in the process it’ll be a welcomed benefit. I’m doing this simply because I want to get back into the habit of writing.

I miss seeing the words slowly populate the page. I miss the nagging thoughts that remind you that you need to get to a keyboard and type out that idea before it’s too late and you forget it. I miss seeing that one throw away line you wrote to yourself knowing it didn’t fit anywhere, but it sounded nice so you kept it in the hopes that one day you would find a perfect place for it. I miss just sitting there alone, just you and your thoughts, and that mirror that is the blank page. I miss it, plain and simple.

Now, surely I can write 500 words a day without publishing it, absolutely, but this way it forces me to be accountable. It’s harder to skip a day when somebody might notice. Still, nobody might notice this or the next 30 entries, but even having the possibility that somebody might at some point is going to keep me honest during this process. And you know, you’ve probably come across this somewhere online or in one of those actual books with pages and all that: The greats weren’t great because they were born great. The greats were great because the wrote a lot. 500 words isn’t much in the scope of prolific writers but it’s a damn good place to start.

Thanks for reading,

David

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