The Myth: You write best when you feel moved to do so, when you are inspired. You don’t really have any control over when you’ll produce good writing.
This is a lie. This is an excuse for those who lack discipline. This is something people say who don’t write. This is what people say who are in love with the idea of writing.
Listen to me. All you have to do is write every day*. If you will do this one simple thing you will find that the process will, in due time, produce good writing. After writing every day for a year and after your fifth draft you will see that in fact you do control when you produce good writing. You control it by putting your rump in the chair every single day.
I have never felt like writing except when I’ve been writing. I can think of 100 other things I’d rather do than sit down to write. I know what is in store for me in the discipline and in the process of draft after draft. It is lonely and slow going. But here’s the thing…it works. The process delivers. Confidence in the daily process – this is what motivates me to write every day. Not some abstract inspiration. Not a muse – whatever the dickens that is. Not some highfalutin artistic sensibility.
The Truth: You’ll write best when you do it every day. That is what will result in your best work. Lots and lots of writing is what produces good writing.
*And read. Don’t neglect reading good and great writing. If you’re not a reader you can’t be a writer. The two cannot be separated. Ever meet a musician who never goes to a show?