How often do you work towards your life goals? Every day, I hope?
Here’s the follow-up question: When in your day do you pursue said goals? First thing in the morning? At night when everyone else is asleep? Or during your lunch break because that’s the only time you have?
I’m grateful to be able to write first thing in the morning, though it’s not to say I enjoy it most days. Because writing is hard, and more often than not, I’d rather not leave the warmth of comforter during those dark, cold mornings.
But some wise dude once said that you should eat your frog in the morning so that the rest of the day would seem easy in comparison, and so I do.
Is there a merit to the timing though? After all, the only thing that should matter is whether or not you eat your frog, right?
You know what I like about pursuing a certain discipline? It’s that it teaches me about everything else in life. Because the way you do something is the way you do everything.
Writing is no different. I’ve learned so much more about myself thanks to the craft. For one, it’s taught me how much of a procrastinating bum I am.
Besides that, it’s also highlighted how much I can dream, yet not pursue said dream out of fear, or laziness, or who knows what else. In a way, writing has helped me address some problems, and come to terms with others.
And here’s me coming to terms with certain… not so fun facts about writing, thanks to writing.
I ask that question as if I didn’t grow up without the internet, writing stories and angsty poems with nothing but a ballpoint pen and a tattered exam pad.
I’m spoiled, is what I am. I want the ability to search for a Stoic quote to support my story, and to know which other famous authors often write without the internet. But that ability poses a certain threat.
And that’s Distraction with a capital ‘D’.
Which is why I’ve begun experimenting with internet-less drafting. And you know what? I’ve maintained a writing output of thousand words per day thanks to this technique that I shall now christen Drafting In The Dark™.
Before we begin, I’d just like to announce my cyberpunk short’s acceptance into the Fish Eats Lion Redux anthology which, for me, puts the rad into my trad-publishing ambitions.
I’m pretty proud of this piece, since Singaporeans were given priority for acceptance, and here I am, a random Malaysian, just trying to belong among the other talented writers from across the Causeway.
Maybe I’ve finally paid my dues. They say you need to get your first million words down before you get to the good stuff. Or maybe I just got lucky.
Either way, here’s a totally scientific (and totally not anecdotal or anything) post about why short-story writing would benefit the novelist, even if they don’t plan to pursue the genre.