We've all seen the memes and quotes by successful authors, attributing their successes to their commitment to writing. One writes a thousand words a day, another any words a day, so long as they have written something. Another writes only with detailed outlines to stay on track. Yet another writes only when they've closed off the entire world and it's only them and the keyboard. Some use journals, and those daily scribbles become their next novels. But what makes them a committed writer?
All of it.
It doesn't matter what methods you use to write. How little or how often to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard.
What matters, is that you never stop, even if there are large gaps in your works: you never gave up; you never quit.
My first novel took eight years from writing to publishing. Did I have days that I wrote absolutely nothing? I sure did. I even went weeks and months without writing. Work, family, pets, travelling, hell, even the weather, could interrupt my writing groove. I didn't let it bother me, or kill the passion I had for the written word. I wrote when I could, and found that when I did find the time, I more than made up for the lost time.
Last year, we welcomed our third child. My husband lost his job due to a horrible economy, and we found that we had to leave our home-state behind, as well as both our families. Deciding to move across the country with three kids (one being an infant), four pets, and fourteen year's worth of accumulated home, by ourselves, is not something I would recommend. But it's what we had to do. We left for Colorado shortly after Christmas and haven't looked back.
Of course, it was a huge adjustment: helping my older kids adjust to making new friends, learning how to navigate an unfamiliar area, and everything else that comes with a major move, left practically no time for writing in my blog, or working on my unfinished novel. It took over six months to really get back in the groove.
But if I look at the notes app on my phone, I can see list after list of ideas and story-lines that have popped into my head over the past year. I jotted them down so I wouldn't forget them and worked on them when I could.
I just typed the end on my latest novel just this week. It was like being with a friend you hadn't seen in years and you fell right back into it like there was no absence at all. I went nearly a year without moving that word count, but I had persisted, and eventually, finished it. The gaps in writing don't make you less of a writer. Writing daily doesn't make you a committed one. Never giving up, and somehow, someway, eventually finishing what you started: That's what makes you a committed writer.