I had the opportunity to go to dinner with some great writing friends last night, including the awesome and hilarious Janette Rallison. We all met at the WIFYR conference a few years ago. I love getting together with other authors/aspiring authors and "talk shop" (plus a lot of other things--you seriously never know what's going to get brought up whenever this group gets together) (and I can't tell you upon pains of death and humiliation to all involved) (but one part may have involved Erin standing up to try and show us her new jeans and her chair falling over and hitting the older gentleman sitting behind her, and us trying to say she has turretts [because of an earlier incident in the night] while laughing hysterically, and him looking really angry at us, just as a mild example).
Left to right: Carla, Janette's daughter who doesn't want her name on the internet, Erin, Melony
Stacey, Me, Janette
I told her I do write every day, even if I can only get 500 words out. "Even if what you write is so bad, you just have to delete it all the next day?" Yes, even then. It creates a habit, it helps train your mind, and get you into the necessary schedule of writing every day. If you want to be published, you will have to be able to do that. You can't take month long breaks because you're "blocked" if you want to be published. You will have deadlines that can't be missed, and you have to push through the block and keep going no matter what. There are tricks I use to help me get through writer's block, and maybe I'll talk about that in another post.
I guess it comes down to whether writing is a hobby for you, or if you want it to be your career. If it's just a hobby, then by all means, write when the muse strikes. If you want it to be a career, you have to treat it like a career NOW. Before you even have an agent, let alone a publishing deal? Yes. I believe that if you want something to happen, you have to act like it already has--create the habit and the mentality now. Act as if you already have an agent and an editor. It will just make it that much easier when it really does happen.
What do you think? Do you write every day? How do you get through writer's block?