Bookmark #582

Not all thoughts are worth wasting words on, and as a writer, it is your job to separate the grain from the chaff. There will be good ideas you sit down and start writing about, but the more words you throw at the page, the less it seems they have any chance of sticking to it. Almost all ideas are good, but not all ideas are good right now. This is my only advice for anyone who wants to sit and write because it is hard. It is tough to do it, knowing all too well you’re not writing to anyone but only the hope that someday, someone will find it all, and for them, it will change the world. We write for that, which is why we must share all thoughts, but not all of them want to be shared at all times. Writing is a lot like life in that way. When something doesn’t work, we must know to stop. We must know when to scratch things off, and begin again.

The other thing I can tell you, which seems to be something many people ask me, and the answer is so unwittingly simple, I do not know what to tell them. They ask me: what is the secret to consistency? I know they expect me to give them a list of impossible, inane rituals or a trick with undisclosed magic that makes sitting at the same goddamn desk easier. But I will take a leap of faith today. I will try.

Frankly, if you are someone who cannot hold any habit for more than a few days, you will not be able to write for more than a few days, either. You will not be able to go on for more than a couple because writing is more difficult than most things you do, if you want to do it right.

Writers are consistent because they are consistent people. Anything else is a noble exercise that helps you believe you got something done today. Most people only need that to live—the feeling of doing something worthwhile. You’d be surprised to see just how many people spend their entire lives chasing their tails. The bottom line is if you lack it in most things, you will likely lack it in writing, too. And if you are likely to roll up your sleeves for most things, you will find it incomprehensibly easy, and you will be baffled by just how many people struggle with it.

It will never make sense to you; you will be too busy doing the work.