This is a little thing I wrote for IdeasTap last year sometime. I’ve just found it in an obscure iCloud folder so thought I’d stick it up here
There are only two rules you need to make a living as a writer.
The first rule is: ?write every day.? Writers are made, not born. Of course, you?ll need a little bit of talent, but that?s just the raw material. To make something out of it, you?ll need to put your bum in a chair, and write every single day.
Some people write a few hundred words a day. Others (like me) write a few thousand. The ones who write a few hundred take care over every thing they put down. The ones (like me) who write a few thousand take less care, but then spend a lot of time editing, revising, chucking out and adding. Both end up at the same place.
But that?s not why you write every day. You write every day because writing is a muscle, and like any muscle it grows flabby and useless through disuse. And by ?writing? I don?t mean just putting words down – I mean that strange, mystical combination of the physical act with the intellectual, that combination of concentration, creativity, intense attention and inspiration that only comes for maybe half-an-hour a day, but only arrives once you?re warmed up, like the engine of a classic sports car.
If you write every day, that moment becomes more common, and grows longer. You find yourself reading stuff you wrote the day before which is really good but which you don?t remember, and you realise that, for a moment at least, you were inspired.
That?s why you write every day.
The second rule of writing is this: ignore all the rules of writing.