As Natural as Breathing

Did you know that on average humans breathe 20 times per minute? That means, in any given hour you breathe 1,200 times, and in a whole day 28,800 times. Do you ever stop and think or worry about it? Well, yes, probably if you stopped you would begin to worry!

For many, writing is as natural as breathing. Just think. Every single day you automatically take around 28,800 breaths. Imagine your output if you wrote as automatically as you breathe. For those for whom writing is an easy and natural progression to be taken advantage of at every opportunity available, you have my awe and admiration. For anyone like me, who struggles to take that “breath” to make or find the time to work on a current work in progress, maybe this is for you.

Over the years I’ve found my writing brain is like a muscle. Kind of like a lung I suppose. Every now and then it gets congested, sluggish and slow to motivate into effective action. When that happens, my world around me mirrors how I’m feeling. I know I have to exercise that muscle, get it into action and make it limber and supple. It’s going to hurt, I know it. It is going to drive me out of my comfort zone, I know that too. But even better than that, it is going to make me feel better and write more. Well, I could get used to that!

So what do I have to do? Write, you say? Well yes, but I have this monster on my shoulder, called procrastination. I’m sure you all know it, and know it intimately. There is always something else that needs my attention. Always. And you know what? None of those things go away. Will they destroy the world as you know it if you don’t get to them straight away? Honestly? In most cases – no. If they are that impactful you will have planned to do something about it. Not breathing is impactful, so therefore, is not writing to a writer.

We have to learn to make the most of every opportunity, every minute – each and every snatched hour for our writing. Make time to write and be disciplined with yourself about what you do with your writing time. If the muse has deserted you for warmer climes then do some research, brush up on your grammar or check out what competitions are due to close soon, until he or she returns. Okay, it may be hard to break those old habits (and aren’t the bad ones the easiest to form?) but think of the rewards. Think of your potential for success whether it be simply for your own satisfaction, or whether it be for a competition you are targeting, or a full manuscript for submission to a publishing house. Give yourself the opportunity “breathe” some life into your writing, until it becomes as natural to you as what you do 20 times per minute, 1,200 times per hour, 28,800 times per day, and more than 10 million times per year and about 700 million times in a lifetime.

And remember Benjamin Disraeli’s saying “Action may not always bring happiness: but there is no happiness without action.”