When I started working out, I hated it. I wanted to gain muscle but dreaded working out. Eventually, a friend got fed up with my laziness and told me what I needed to hear: “If you want to build the habit, go to the gym every single day without fail.”
So that’s what I did. For two years, I basically didn’t miss a workout. I went to the gym seven days a week and always found a way to break a sweat while traveling.
It’s been five years since I started working out, and today, I’m not dogmatic about going to the gym every day. If I miss a day, it’s not a big deal. If I have a busy schedule or don’t feel like lifting weights, I skip a day. Things were different when I started because I knew that missing a day would end my streak and jeopardize my ability to turn it into a habit. But I now know that skipping a day won’t have a long-term effect on my health because I’ve learned to love the gym.
What was once a “need” has become a “want.”
I no longer go because I need to. I go because I want to.
Writing is similar. In an ideal world, you only write when you’re filled with the creative spirit. The problem is that when most writers say: “I’m not going to write today because I’m not feeling it,” they are really running away from some kind of fear. Maybe it’s a fear of judgment. Or maybe, it’s a fear of realizing that first drafts are never as perfect as the image in your mind. But writing every day and committing to a regular publishing schedule forces you to silence your inner critic and transcend the hurdles of self-doubt.
Consistency comes before choice.
Like the gym, you can do whatever you want once you fall in love with the habit. The luxury of only writing when you feel like it is something you have to earn.