Inspired by David I am attempting to start a daily writing practice.
I used to read the Paris Review from time to time. They had in-depth interviews with writers in most or every issue, including some of the all-time greats. I was struck by how similar their lives were, even though their work was so different. One does not have to – perhaps must not – live a wild and tempestuous life to write wild and tempestuous fiction. Most of these writers rose early, wrote for several hours in the morning, and then spent the afternoon napping, reading, and catching up on correspondence. We are drawn to depictions of writers as divinely inspired, tortured geniuses, and there are a few of those. But that cannot be cultivated. For the rest of us, routine is the foundation for any great work.
I think about this because the idea of any daily practice, any routine, always strikes me as uninspired. Surely, I think, if I was meant to do something, I would just do it. This is an old habit of mind, and an unhelpful one.
I don’t think this practice, even if I continue it, will lead to “great work”. But it is the sort of thing that the kind of person I want to be tends to do.