Welcome to the new year! January 2019 and eleven months of possibility await. As a writer, what are your plans for the new year? Will you make a new year’s resolution to write more, finally get that novel published, work on your poetry or try a new genre? I’ve made a decision which may come as a surprise. I’m not making a new year’s resolution. You may wonder why.
I came to an interesting revelation while watching an interview with motivational speaker Simon Sinek. Sinek argues that big changes in our lives are not the result of one life changing event but rather the result of daily consistency. He gives the example of oral health or losing weight. If you go to the dentist twice a year your teeth will fall out. You have to brush your teeth twice a day every day for a minute. What does that minute accomplish? Nothing. But if you brush every day for a year you will have better oral health. Same with the gym. If you go to the gym, run on the treadmill for three hours and then look in the mirror you will see . . . nothing. Do the same thing the next day and . . . nothing. You can then choose to give up, since exercise is clearly not helping or, if you believe you’re making a difference, you can continue going every day and eventually, with consistency, you will see a change.
Sinek’s argues that consistency is key. The same principle applies to writers. You aren’t going to become an amazing author and write a ground-breaking novel by sitting down and writing until 3 am. You become an amazing author by writing every day, maybe only for 30 minutes, but you sit down consistently and work with your mind, the keyboard and that blank document. Even God didn’t create the world in one day. He took seven days and on one day he rested. Follow the example of consistency. It applies to all areas of our lives: improving our eating habits, our health, learning a new skill, learning an instrument, falling in love or keeping a marriage alive. To use another of Sinek’s examples, your wife didn’t fall in love with you because you took her to Paris. She fell in love with you because of a million little things you did every day that told her you loved her. Thus, consistency in selflessness and affection results in love.
If you take anything away from this post I hope it is the advice to be consistent. Don’t make a grandiose new year’s resolution to become a famous author (you'll burn out by February and be discouraged). Instead, promise yourself that you will be a consistent writer. Understand that you can fail. You can take a day off. (If you’re travelling you may need to take two days off). But agree to make every day a new start and a new chance to write. Be consistent and write for only a few minutes every day of the week. It's a simple change in your daily schedule that is easy to implement. Anyone can try anything for fifteen to thirty minutes. You’ll be surprised where consistency can take you when coupled with a little imagination. Oh, and remember to have a lovely 2019. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get in my thirty minutes of writing.
P.S. Simon Sinek is a business and leadership motivational speaker.
To check out his interview follow this link.
You can find his website here.