Write every single day
I'm making a conscious effort to write every single day. Some days it's 2,000 words which I end up deleting, only to start over again. Other days I write 200 words and I'm satisfied with the result in the first draft.
I'm not publishing everything I write, because some of it isn't worthy of attention. This is not about notoriety or gaining more SEO juice. This is about doing work in order to do better work more often.
Writing every day has become a catalyst for my other creative work—the grease on the wheels of my steam engine. Sometimes it helps get me moving, and other times is just standard maintenance.
Maintenance is an interesting word, one we don't use too often when talking about ourselves. Car owners know they're supposed to get the vehicle's oil changed periodically, keep the tires in good shape, and have the brakes checked once a year.
We do these things, even though they take money and time because if we don't do them, they will take even more money and more time. This year I was reluctant to do some regular maintenance on my car and it ended up costing me $2,300 and a week without my vehicle. Maybe if I had spent a few hundred on regular maintenance, I could have avoided the issue.
Why wouldn't we make the same effort for ourselves to keep the creative machine running smoothly? When was the last time you scheduled the time to take care of yourself? What if the answer to a higher skill level in your work is some diligent, daily practice on something you've been putting off.
These words are not my best, but I write them to keep my mind sharp. I try to make art several times a week, good or bad because I know eventually I'll make something great.
The other day I shared a blog post about fate and happiness and it has become one of my most popular posts in a long time. It's not a viral hit by any stretch, but it's doing much better than anything else I've written lately. It's also better than anything I've written since, but I can't assume it's the best work I'll ever create.
I need to keep writing and keep making art because the real gold hasn't been mined yet, or at least that's what keeps this prospector's pan in the river.