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The Power of Consistency

Showing up and doing the work. Ten thousand hours to expertise. The first million words are bad. National Novel Writing Month, 50,000 words in 30 days.

They’re kind of variants of the same idea. It takes time to get good at something, and it takes consistency to develop skill. The piano student who practices for three hours every once in a while, because that’s when the mood takes them, will progress much more slowly than the piano student who spends twenty minutes a day, every day. Continual improvement, continual effort, continual practice.

It accumulates.

Whether it’s putting out words, or it’s form studies for painting, or it’s running scales for piano, simply showing up with regularity adds up.

As I write this, I have just finished putting in the last bit to have a full 100k (25k per novella chunk) for book 3 in the fantasy sword & planet series. Novellas 1 & 2 (1.1 and 1.2) are on the second revision pass, incorporating critique, and tomorrow I embark on revising 1.3 to prepare it for beta/critique.

November was fantastic for the energy of showing up every day, hitting my story and word count goal for the month, but the energy always dissipates. People disappear, the regular write-ins vanish. I switched gears at the end of the month, because I hit the end of the story I was telling, and I shifted to 3.1. (The reason was structural: in April Camp NaNoWriMo, I fleshed out a new novella in book 2, and added enough to 2.3 and 2.4 to make them “full”, then I went back and restructured 3 by ripping out the story in 3.1, making it the core of 3.2, and bumping the old 3.2/3.3 to the new 3.3/3.4. And I added a solid 25k in April, and a little in July Camp, but was still short in the new 3.1. It bothered me immensely to leave it hanging, it only needed a little work, but, you know, pandemic and life and stuff.)

I made my snapshot for the archives, and set it aside for now.

The important part was continuing to show up. Which I did, in December, for a change.

Not the worst way to close out the year.

Published inWriting