Write, write, write
You all know the old saying: practice makes perfect, right? Think about it in writing as well. The more you write, the better you become. The more you write, the easier it is to write.
One of the great things about forcing yourself to write a novel a month is that you develop the ability to write better. Common mistakes are discovered and perfected; words that you struggle with become easier to write (I still have problems with ie/ei words like receive - that rhyme just doesn't help always ); and you find that ideas are generated.
When I was younger, I opted to write when inspiration hit, but I learned quickly that finishing a novel took longer when waiting for inspiration. I also had more projects left unfinished because of waiting for inspiration. When I finished my first novel in ninth grade, I felt as though I had accomplished something. It was a thrilling experience - a writer's high, if you will.
Last year, when I finished a novel a month for five months, it was the same high. I knew that I could write daily without having to wait for inspiration to strike. Sure, there are days when I don't feel like writing, and there are days that I struggle to write 1,000 words in a book, but I keep writing. The crazy thing is that my writing has vastly improved. I'm not simply talking about from school to now, but from last year to this year. Grammar errors are down; story structure has improved; my characters are less two-dimensional and more three-dimensional. It's downright addicting.
Galatians 6:9 says, "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
It isn't easy to discipline yourself to do the right thing whether writing every day, or eating well or exercising, but we all know that in the long run, these times of struggle will help us be better.
So here's to all of you who write day in and day out. Good for you; pat yourselves on your back. Keep going because it is worth it. For those of you waiting for inspiration - keep waiting if you want to think you're a writer; start writing if you want to be a writer.