I just finished a ten mile race; it’s the third time I’ve done it. In past years I’ve trained physically and mentally, have registered admirable times and have felt energized afterwards.
This year I didn’t have time to train and didn’t even plan on running it until the last minute. I stepped off an airplane, got four hours sleep and showed up at the start line dehydrated, fatigued and wearing the wrong socks.
It was a hellish race; torture from start to finish. My worst time ever. Now, post-race, my muscles ache and my feet are covered in blisters.
Why am I telling you this? Because most of us approach writing a novel the same way I approached the Tely 10. We tell ourselves that we don’t have time to develop a daily writing routine. We kid ourselves that we can sit down one day, unprepared, and in one great burst of energy and will, produce a novel for the ages.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Sure, we might actually manage to crank out a book but will it be our best work? Writing, like running, rewards consistent effort over time.