“I must get my words down every day …”

My words
Ever say to yourself: “Just write my words down, whatever they are, just write something!”?

Do you have those days when you don’t know what to write or even feel like writing but, at the same time, you know you just have to write something or your wound will scab over and you won’t be able to write again?

Most days are like that for me.

This is one of the reasons I really like this quote from John Steinbeck:

In writing, habit seems to be a much stronger force than either willpower or inspiration. Consequently there must be some little quality of fierceness until the habit pattern of a certain number of words is established. There is no possibility, in me at least, of saying, “I’ll do it if I feel like it.” One never feels like awaking day after day. In fact, given the smallest excuse, one will not work at all. The rest is nonsense. Perhaps there are people who can work that way, but I cannot. I must get my words down every day whether they are any good or not.

For more quotes from a writer who really seemed to work really hard to get his words down, read “How Steinbeck Used the Diary as a Tool of Discipline, a Hedge Against Self-Doubt, and a Pacemaker for the Heartbeat of Creative Work“:


Image credit: Pixabay

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