02: The value of commitment.

- May 22, 2016 -

I was always so confused whenever I would read those articles on how to become a better writer in which they would insist that you had to write every day. If you didn’t, they said, you weren’t really a writer.

My readings of these articles took place during my early days as a writer, a sensitive time when I was still very insecure about this newfound title of ‘writer’ that I had recently taken on. I was eager for any and all advice as to how I might more readily assume that role — which, in this day and age, meant that I indulged my insecurities in enormous amounts of clickbait. “10 Things Every Writer Must Do.” “5 Things All Writers Do Before Breakfast.” “The 1 Thing Successful Writers All Agree On.”

Again and again, these articles would emphasize the necessity of writing every day. But, to me, the idea that my status as a writer was predicated upon a daily practice of writing was insulting. What do you mean I’m not a writer if I’m not writing every day? Is writing so fickle a pursuit that it can be so readily turned on and off?

Eventually, however, I came to realize that what these articles were hinting at was a much deeper truth: there is something to be said about the consistency of a daily ritual.

You see, it is incredibly important that we honour the things which are important to us by letting them know that they have a place in our lives. A daily ritual is a commitment. It is a promise to both yourself and your work. It is a way of honouring what you do, a way of saying, “I value you. This is important to me.”

There is a wonderful quote by Charles Stanley which captures this sentiment perfectly: “Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on the object we’re waiting for.” I honour my writing by recognizing that, yes, I will have to wait to get better, but I am willing to wait; for as long as it takes, I am willing to put in the hours and the days.


– J


This piece comes from Jana Marie’s newsletter, The Sunday Letters. You can sign up to receive future editions below.