So here I sit at 8:09 AM on a Thursday morning wondering what I am going to say today. There are times when I find writing this blog a great joy and there are times where I find it a heavy burden. Those tough times are blessedly few. Today I feel neither; I suppose I’m somewhere between. Sometimes I think well ahead and very occasionally even write posts a day or two in advance. Usually I sit down in the morning knowing what I am going to say, or at least what I am going to start to say. But today I just don’t know.
And yet I want to write. Writing has become such an important discipline in my life. It’s through writing that I do my best thinking and through writing that I do my best application of truth. I may think I know something in my mind, but when I write about it I realize that i had barely known anything at all. And really, writing is becoming my life. Ideally I spend about half of every day writing, focusing time on my blog, on my book and on my 10MillionWords reading project. Put it all together and it’s a writer’s life I’m living at the moment. And I love it.
People often ask me, “How can I become a better writer?” The answer is both obvious and simple. If you want to write better, you need to write more. As with any discipline, some people are born with exceptional talent and for them writing comes easily, naturally and with great skill. But for most of us, writing takes long and hard practice. If you want to be a good writer, you need to write even on those days when you’d rather do anything else, on those days when you feel like you’ve got nothing to say. During the recent Olympics I saw video after video of athletes answering similar questions in their field. Time and time again I heard them say that they got to the top of their game by practicing hard, day in and day out. They practiced hardest on the days when they felt like they had the least to give and on the days when they would rather have been anywhere else doing anything else. It’s not on the easy days and through the joyful practices that an athlete becomes an Olympian. It’s through the hard days, through the gruelling ones. Here is where he learns the character and endurance that will carry him in competition.