Forget About Being Inspired, Just Write

Forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable.

- Octavia Butler

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 7 years old. And since then I’ve published here and there, paid and unpaid, but with the ever gnawing thought at the back of my mind.

I should be writing more.

And it was true. Because I actually wouldn’t write that much or that regularly.

Waiting, waiting and waiting

I would always be waiting — waiting for that elusive inspiration that would suddenly strike me with that writing superpower.

It wasn’t an outlandish thought because it’s happened before. And when inspiration did strike, oh my, it was swee-ee-eet!

I would write a 2,500 word short story with minimal edits and no planning required. Start to finish in over an hour. It’s happened a couple of times and the stories would go on to win competitions and be published.

Still waiting

So over the years, I would be in a holding pattern just waiting for the Writing Gods to do their thing again.

But I kept waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

And years have gone by and I’ve published only a handful of articles in recent times with too many started but unfinished. The gnawing thought again ever present.

I should be writing more.

Practice makes… something

So I’ve figured out I need to try something new. And I am going to treat writing like any other skill which needs to be practised.

Like playing squash. I won’t get inspiration one day and suddenly become a fantastic squash player. I need to go to the courts, talk to the pros, practise, practise and practise. I can’t just read about how to play squash well — I need to play.

And that’s what I’ll do with writing and that’s why I’m on Medium — to help me exercise this important writing muscle and to make it a habit and well-trodden path in my head.

And then who knows, maybe the Writing Gods will smile upon me once more — or, I simply won’t need them anymore.




Here's to tasting life twice

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store