Persistence in writing is talking about consistency. Apart from knowing how to string words together doing it consistently is how writers are made. When you first set out to write, whether as a kid or an adult, it can be all butterflies. The feeling of writing itself can make you feel like you have a superpower. Soon enough, that feeling fades especially when you reach a rough patch.
Writing is like working out. You have to hit the gym over and over again or go out to jug morning after morning before you can see any result. Lack of consistency is one of the reasons most writers have incomplete projects. No excellent writer came fully made, you have to write a lot before you can eventually start to turn out voluminous work or even excellent work. Finding consistency in writing is what will help you stick to your project, day after day, week after week so that you can complete a story.
No writer came fully made, is one of Chinua’s quote. If you can’t persist in your writing or be consistent in it, your dreams of becoming professional in your writing might just be a pipe dream. You will remain on the periphery of writing. But not to worry, even established writers can struggle with consistency. If you are a lazy writer, we might not be able to help you. A lazy writer should worry about solving the laziness before talking about consistency. Below are some reasons why you might struggle with consistency in your writing and how to tackle them.
Hazy Plot Structure: One of the things that hinder consistency in writing is a hazy plot structure. A hazy plot structure is like a Gordian knot. You have a story you have started writing but you can’t figure out how the story proceeds. Thus particular problems can cause you to stop or stutter. If you don’t solve this problem as soon as possible, there is a likelihood that in no distant time, you will lose interest. One of the ways to overcome this is to have a clear and definite plot. It’s okay to start your story and not know how it’s going to end but it is also very important that you avoid having too many options on how the story can turn out that you can’t even figure out the right one. When storyboarding, always make sure that each one of the separate ideas on how the story proceeds are clear and understandable. That way, you can keep coming back to write.
Lack of deadline: When writers start to write a story and do not include a mental deadline in their head, there is a likelihood that there won’t be consistency in your writing. Not setting a deadline means that you can decide not to write now because you can do it at a later time. However, if you set a deadline, you will be more invested to complete the project within the time you have given yourself.
Determination: Writing can be a mental battle sometimes. When you want to be a writer or start writing a project, you have to win the battle in your head. Determine that you will write, no matter what. Day or night, whatever time suits you. Take steps that put you in the writing mood and refuse to proceed with your usual activities until you have successfully written down the very thing you have in mind or contributed a few words to your story. This way, the progress you make will give you a reason to return to continue it.
Community: A lot of people think that communities do not have any use. There is a popular saying that if you want to go fast, go alone and if you want to go far, go with others or something like that. One of the ways to find consistency in your writing is by finding yourself a community of like minds. When you are not up to it, simple discussions in the community can help you get going. You can even find an accountability partner to hold you responsible to your goals and targets. I’m sure you know that CLH runs one of such communities. Once you decide to make a career out of writing, the terrain changes in your mind. Things like block, writers’ block, typing block no longer exists in your mind. You look for consistency instead. You will find out that writing consistently for some time will better your writing and grow your productivity. Even if you are writing as a hobby, your confidence as a writer will be threatened if you can’t point to specific finished or completed projects. Be intentional about your writing and watch yourself grow into the kind of writer you imagined.