DIGGING A DITCH

Regardless of whether you’ve been writing for days or decades, you’ve probably heard at least some of the quotes about writing. One of my favorites is by Patrick Dennis…

Writing isn’t hard – no harder than digging a ditch.

The truth of the matter is that writing is work. Anyone who says otherwise has either never attempted to write or doesn’t understand what it means to write. For many writers, the most difficult part seems to be finding the time to sit down and start digging that ditch. I won’t attempt to insult your intelligence by offering suggestions on how to do this. If you write, then you probably already either have a plan that you use (or are planning to use). I will echo the sentiments of other writers who state that repetition is key. Just as you would not expect to make much progress in digging a ditch if you were only to dig up a couple shovelfuls of earth every few weeks, the same is true of writing.

There is, of course, the art of percolating, of allowing the writing to occur within your mind on a more-or-less constant basis. Nothing wrong with this, and in fact it can be an invaluable approach, provided you take the follow-up steps and actually transfer the ideas in your head onto paper be it paper or digital.

Regardless of where you are in your writing pursuit, be sure to gift yourself time to hone your craft. And make no mistake, writing is a gift you give to yourself. No one else can give it to you. Writing is a lofty, solitary task that takes practice, perseverance, and patience. And no, I’m not going to refer to these as the 3 Ps even though that would fit into a nice little advice package.

Write and write often. The stories you tell and the worlds you create are limited only by your imagination and by the time you gift yourself toward polishing your skills.

Start digging.