As a Writer are You “On” All the Time?

Writer On
Image from Flickr by Vancouver Film School

I’ve been blogging for more than a month right now. Since then, I paid more attention to what I write. In a previous post, I argue that blogging is also writing. I think most people will agree on that matter.

But, there is this one thing I noticed. As a blogger/writer, there are times when I still write sloppily, such as when using instant messaging, texting, or commenting on other blogs.

Does it even matter? After all, I can write better compared to the time I started blogging.

Since I like reading quotes, I remembered something a Greek philosopher said a long time ago:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

–Aristotle

In my interpretation of the sage’s words, he means we should always be “on.” When we are “on,” we perform at our very best, regardless of how we feel or the circumstances we are in because if we do things sloppily even one-fifth of the time, how we do things will be recorded by our nervous system and be turned into a blueprint; A blueprint that will be its reference when we perform similar actions in the future.

So, even when we are using instant messaging, texting, or writing anything we consider mundane, we should give our best. Giving our best means we should write as if what we’re writing is a blog, article, or even a book (for authors out there).

Still, it has exceptions. Being “on” when writing all the time does not mean we edit our text message eight times before we hit the send button, or we write to an eight-year-old kid as if we are writing to adults.

Summary:
Being excellent at something does not mean doing something in a brilliant manner one time then doing the rest in a mediocre way. We should strive to give our best all time because the actions we repeatedly perform become habits that are ingrained in our nervous system, which is our guiding system when performing actions that are automatic (unconscious), such as writing.

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2 thoughts on “As a Writer are You “On” All the Time?

  1. I really like this post. It reminds of a similar mantra to “dress the part”, as if preparing yourself and acting the part will manifest it into reality. Not too different from forming a habit of always being “on”. Interesting food for thought. 🙂

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