To the woman with the sky blue helmet, or why you need to write every day.


There are different camps on whether you should write every day or not. I know where I stand. I believe if you aren’t writing every day, you should be editing or researching. Every day. Sure, you need to take vacations and give yourselves periodic retreats. But it should be the exception, not the rule. Here’s why:

Along Cherry Creek drive, that runs parallel to the creek itself, there is a bike trail. It’s my favorite way to commute into work as it’s quite peaceful and less bogged down with traffic than a lot of other routes to work. Earlier this year, I noticed someone in particular.

It was a woman riding a bicycle with a vibrant, sky blue helmet. She was moving very slow. Her stability on the bike was not great. The bike had almost a teeter-totter to it because she was unfamiliar with the bike and not in the best shape to ride it. I hoped to see her improve because her determination was apparent.

I passed this woman on my commute very regularly.Then, a few weeks ago, I stopped seeing her. My morning routine is nearly set in stone, so I wasn’t leaving at a new time or anything. More time passed and my morning commute no longer involved the woman with the sky blue helmet.

Then, on Monday, something happened. I was making my last turn, the turn that takes me away from Cherry Creek Drive. Someone popped out from a ramp and headed in a perpendicular direction from me. It was the woman with the sky blue helmet. She was over a mile further from where I used to see her.

It wasn’t that I was leaving later, she was leaving earlier. It was that she was stronger, faster. Her stability was uncanny. The bike moved with incredible confidence. While I’ve been just driving, mad at selfish people doing stupid things, she’s been enjoying nature, getting fitter, healthier.

I then reflected on that. The first few times I saw her, she looked like she was miserable. Absolutely miserable. The bike moved slow. Now she was moving with assurance and calm demeanor. So when you’re starting a new manuscript, have writer’s block, or in the throws of edits, just remember who you can be.

You can be the person determined to repeat the process day in, day out, never stopping now matter how miserable you feel. Or you can stop. But just remember the woman in the sky blue helmet. She’s now better at what she set out to accomplish, which made her stronger and faster than those who don’t keep consistent.

So no matter where you are in the writing process, just getting started, in the throws of edits, or starting a completely different manuscript, know the start will involve hard days. But every day you get better, every day you get stronger. Because what you accomplish may not be publishable work, but it’s still working toward the goal you need to meet. That’s why you should write, edit, or research every day.

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