The Key is Consistency

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A client signed up with me to finally fulfill her dream of writing. At our first session she prefaced every writing exercise with a criticism or disclaimer about her work. I told her I was a guide, not a judge, and she was courageous to write at all. Period. At the end of the session, despite the freedom and joy she clearly experienced with her creative expression, she balked at meeting weekly.

“How about every two weeks,” she said. “I am very busy with work, and my kid, and this is just a hobby.”

I knew from the way she was writing, this was more than a hobby. Writing was a long dormant necessity for her to feel fully alive. She came to me because she needed help accessing that part of her.

I stood strong in the face of her doubt.   I wasn’t going to let her off the hook.

“Consistency in writing is key,” I said. “Trust me. Let’s work next week and then we can evaluate.”

The next week she presented to me a vividly written exercise on the observation of a place. As she read me her work, and the detail of the location and the people, I was blown away. Was this the same woman? I had to admit, I felt a little envious at her ability to go from – I can never write – to filling a notebook with wild abandon.

She insisted we meet weekly.

Look for a small space of time every day where a routine around your writing can be established, and then stick to it for a week. See what happens to your writing. Within that daily committed guarantee, we can feel accountable and successful.

Consistency gives creativity flow.

Some days, my routine with my coffee maker is what gets me writing. I know every day it makes that gurgling noise, emits a glorious brown cup of liquid and I take the cup and go to my office and write. It comforts me that nothing will take that away… each day.

Consistency is in fact the key to everything.

In romance, a simple daily ‘I love you’ and a show of gratitude buys so much more intimacy than some big night planned on the town with roses and a fancy dinner.

In friendship, it’s a weekly check in, listening to your friend and their feelings, and then telling them the outcome of some predicament you left the facts about for four minutes on their voicemail the week prior.

For my kids, while they appreciate that I navigate them through all the facets of life survival, it’s the morning muffins we make on Saturdays that help them to feel anchored and the world is all right. They can then explore in off kilter or creative ways because there is a consistent anchor.

And for those of you that are hard cases, who have tried everything to write every day and can’t, get the brilliant Jerry Seinfeld’s Don’t Break the Chain chart that kept him writing every day.   It’s free at the Writer’s store.

I marvel at the writers who insist that regardless of a holiday, they write. They tell their families, “Sorry, I’ll join you in an hour. I need to write every day.” I want to be like them when I grow up. It takes courage… and it takes a commitment to consistency.

If you would like to write a book, and need help with consistency, accountability and creative expression, please check out my web site at www.astoryinside.com.   You can sign up for a complimentary Story to Success™ Strategy Session.

Kim O'Hara

About Kim O'Hara

Prior to launching her business A Story Inside as a book and story coach, Kim spent her adult life as a producer and screenwriter of independent film, developing countless projects from script to screen. On the never-ending quest to know more about writers and writing, she has taken short fiction, satire and screenwriting classes at UCLA, Stanford Writers’ Lab and San Jose State. To hone her skills in comedy and collaboration, she survived an Improv Intensive at IO West. She was also the Editor of a prominent food journal, charged with the task of making subjects like antibiotics in meat a riveting read. She is passionate about intuitively and mindfully connecting women entrepreneurs to their hidden greatness and help them achieve their unrealized dream to write a book. Her children are the root of her existence, her true teachers.