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desire

Photo by Nationaal Archief

With a clear conscience, I can promise that desire had little to do with the conception of this post. If my desires dictated when this would be written, I would put it off a few more days.

Fortunately, my will, and not my feelings, determine my actions as a writer.

An underrated attribute—the will of a writer

What separates the in-shape person that works out year-round from the unhealthy one that each new year vows to start working out again? The unhealthy one is riding the emotions of the new year, banking that they’ll feel those same emotions for the next 365 days.

Every day is a new decision with new circumstances. Extra work. Early morning. Other priorities. As the emotional high lessens, so does the frequency of their ‘yes,’ until finally, the question no longer exists.

For the other, the decision has already been made. Each day from that point on confirms their decision to be healthy. There is no longer a choice, the only option is to be in-shape.

I love writing. I desire to write. But I’m not thrilled about writing every single day. Some days, I’m distracted. Other days, my brain just isn’t working, or I’m not feeling confident. Of course, the desire is to write when inspired. There’s nothing wrong with that. We’re artists. It’s the days that don’t inspire that separate an in-shape writer and an unhealthy writer.

“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”

Don’t be a New Year’s resolution writer. There is a cycle for this kind of writer:

Inspiring high -> emotionally-based decision to write  -> inspiration lessened by time ->which lessens willpower ->which lessens confidence ->personal disappointment enters ->willpower gone -> writing ends until next inspiring high.

Three Ways To Break Your Dependence On Feelings

1. Realize Writing is a Privilege

Without realizing it, we look at writing as a sacrifice. The late nights, the writer’s block, the low pay, it all leads to a self-pity way of thinking that weakens our will to write consistently. Calling yourself a writer is a privilege that many wish to do, but never will. When that privilege is understood, you’ll take a new approach to your writing.

2. Practice Undesired Writing

Look at those times you don’t feel like writing as gifts to practice – like swinging a weighted bat before stepping up to the plate. When you don’t even feel like a writer and can still write well, you know you’ll be  ready when that moment of writing inspiration shows up.

3. Decision Is a Noun, Not a Verb

Don’t struggle anymore with the daily decision to write. The only decision that needs to be made is, “Am I a writer?” If the answer is yes, the actions will follow. Writers write. If it’s who you are, you won’t be able to make any decision other than to write.

The posture of our thoughts will decide if writing will be an aspect of day to day life.

Are you relying on feelings and desires to write consistently?

PRACTICE

For fifteen minutes, write as if you have no desire to do so, but know you must!

When your time is up, post your practice in the comments section. Be sure to comment on posts from other writers.

Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. You can follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).
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