On Writing

Eleven years later, this is still the best advice on being a writer I’ve ever heard.

You have to get up in the morning and write like a drunk has to drink.

One of my photography professors from college gave us this advice. One of his professors gave it to him back in the 60s. He carried it down through the long years and handed it to me one day in a cramped room in the Ernie Pyle building.

I was nervous on the first day of class of my first actual photography class, listening to a pompous man wearing a scarf in mid August. I didn’t understand why he was giving us writing advice. He was a talker, and eventually his story wrapped back around to photography.

That quote stuck with him, too. I don’t know if he knew what a gift he’d given me. I didn’t know myself for years.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Not just good at writing, but an author. You should see the notes I have for short stories, novellas, and novels. Notes I’ve been hoarding since I was 17. I went through and organized my old writing notes a few nights ago.

Text files with single sentences, rough outlines of short stories, folders full of notes that barely made any sense a decade after I wrote them.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about how I spend my time, and how I could put my time to better use. The most obvious answer was “Write more.” I used to make time for writing. And I’m making time once again.

I don’t know if I need to get up first thing in the morning and bang out a thousand words, but I absolutely want to get back in the habit of writing every day.

I’ve written about this quote before, I’m sure of it. Eleven years later and it’s still banging around in my head. I’ve had more than enough blogs over the years. I’m sure I’ve written it down somewhere.

But I’m less concerned about not repeating myself. I’m more concerned about getting back into the habit that’s brought me endless amounts of satisfaction since I was eight years old.

I'm Tyler, and I blog about marketing, programming, writing, and things I'm working on.

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