A writer writes. Right? That’s what makes them a writer. Not the intention, or the dream, but the down and dirty daily discipline of bum-in-chair pounding the keys and producing words on the page.
But writing a book can seem overwhelming at times. The idea of of a 300-page marathon of mind leaves us begging for rest before we even begin the first chapter.
Enter your saving grace, and a revelation that will free you from the illusion that the only way to be a writer is to produce books.
My advice to those who aspire to authorship, but need to sharpen their writing blade.
Originally termed a “web log” – a series of journal entries on a web page – blogging is a journey-sharing exercise that requires nothing more than expressed honesty.
Don’t start so you can become a famous blog celebrity, although that could happen, but simply to leverage yourself into a disciple of consistently turning up with words that you share in public.
Blogging is a dynamic, in the moment, form of communication. It draws raw immediacy from heart to key to screen in a way that sometimes a book will not. I believe it's a mindset that says blog writing does not need to be perfect because it’s passing down the river. Yesterday’s entry with all of its imperfections is soon superseded by todays. This frees you from the need to piddle around perfecting every comma and colon and just do the work. The joyful work of writing.
Write your book.
But you just said blog?
Write the book one short blog post at a time!
A popular example would be that the Martian was first published in serial form on Andy Weir's website. Andy essentially wrote a long-form blog that became a book that became a blockbuster movie. Who knows where your public practice might lead?
Embrace the benefits of raw, untamed immediacy and punch out your book page by page, day by day, in blog post after blog post, until it is complete.
Then gather those babies together and stitch them into a whole.
If need be, once they are sandwiched between the covers, feel free to don the editor’s cap and tidy their bullish tone, smooth any uncultured grammar, and caress the gnarly unrefined prose into something more fitting for the shelves.
But start real and raw.
Daily posts of between 300-1000 words will quickly slice and dice your book down to manageable chunks and before you know it your novel or non-fiction world-changer will be ready for stage two. Blog to book.
The book to blockbuster? Who knows, and frankly at this junction who cares. The only thing that matters at the outset is the first word, followed by the one after that and the one after that…
Nothing should stop you in your tracks.
Make writing a daily practice, just like cleaning your teeth.