The Hardest Advice to Follow: Your Own

Neil Gaiman offers a little bit of advice.

Writing is no easy task. Of that I am well aware. And like all other processes that can be long, difficult and quite frustrating, advice on the craft is available for those who think they require it. I have read Stephen King’s On Writing, I follow writing-themed accounts on Twitter, and I have sought out and also stumbled upon random tips for writers. Most of these sources of advice, if not all, include one point that I think is quintessential: write everyday.

Now that sounds simple enough, of course, but for some reason I don’t do it. Outside of academics, I typically only write when the moment strikes. This is perfectly exemplified in the journal that I keep. Initially, I’m pretty positive I set out with the intention that it would be a daily place to write down thoughts and happenings. Soon that “daily” turned into “weekly,” and shortly after it turned into “whenever-I-feel-like-it.” The dates are rather sporadic; I think the biggest gap spans about two months (yikes). In my attempt to save a little face here, I do jot down the odds and ends I randomly think of on an *almost* daily basis that could turn into bigger pieces of writing. Those I keep in a notebook.

The underlying problem is no mystery to me – at least not anymore. I have learned many things since coming to college – which is rather the point of this place anyway, I’m fairly certain – and one of those is this: I am a lazy person at heart, and I am only slightly ashamed to admit it. I was semi-aware of this prior to college, but post-secondary education has brought out the true nature of the beast, and it is ugly. I often find myself at Procrastination Station, in danger of missing the last train. It can be exhilarating at times – knowing the final countdown fast approaches, I hunker down and become determined to finish the paper or project before the deadline snipes me between the eyes- but it is far too dangerous a life to be living. Here again, though, I don’t follow my own advice and procrastinate anyway.

What’s the matter with me? I could follow this rhetorical question with a series of further rhetorical questions suggesting the possible things that could be the matter with me, but that would be pointless because I already know what the problem is, I’m just too lazy to do anything about it. See what I did there?

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