Quantity and consistency lead to quality and confidence

You will probably find this kind of article everywhere. It’s been done to shit. Because of that, I created a file, gave it the above title of ‘Quantity and consistency trumps quality’ and left it alone for months.

It was only now that I figured out what I want to write about.

I want to share my story about how writing large quantity of content and doing it consistently lead me to where I am today. And as I was writing this, I realise the current title is more suitable…

When I first started writing fiction, it was for English Composition as part of my school curriculum during my primary and secondary school days, like most Singaporean student. Back then, I sucked at it. The stories I wrote were no good. My vocabulary was limited. Grammar was all over the place. But it was something that I feel comfortable with.

It was only during my upper secondary days that I figured out what I enjoy writing the most after having read a bunch of books by Tom Clancy. And I always went out of topic for my homework because of that. So I didn’t score very well then. But behind the scenes, I continued to write fan-fiction for games like Command and Conquer series. I didn’t care so much about grammar or vocabulary. Telling a story was more important to me then. By the time I stopped writing, my right-hand developed callous from holding on to the pen too tightly. The callous never went away until the day I graduated from secondary school when I switched to using computer to write.

And I didn’t stop there.

I crafted and played text-based role-playing games with people I met from a command and conquer fan-site which I was a part of. Those games went on for three years.

And I didn’t stop when I entered polytechnic back in 2005 to get my diploma. Since then, there were attempts to write at least four novels. Ultimately, only one reached the completion. I also wrote and submitted one short story for the Golden Point Award, and attempted to write a few more short stories–all of which have been published on this blog.

Now when I look back, the sheer amount of writing I did was just unbelievable. It didn’t matter to me if I am a published writer or not because the best part was, I enjoyed the whole process.

And you know what? With this consistent exposure to writing fiction during my younger days, I get to see myself getting better at crafting stories. How I prove to myself? It was by going back to what I wrote in the past and compare.

By this point of my writing journey, I can also say that I no longer feel that I suck at writing fiction, especially if it’s science fiction. Compared to the previous work I have done, my most recent novel, The Tainted Forbidden Love, is my best yet. It was the result of nearly sixteen years of intentionally writing fiction. If you have not check that novel out, please do and let me know what you think. The link to the first chapter is here.

So, if you want to be a creator, it’s very important to continue to create something at least once a day and doing it consistently. But I have to note that, it’s not enough. Each time that you create something, you have to put emphasis on quality. That piece of work has to be your best piece of work yet given what you have mastered.

P.S. If I had someone who give me a monthly pocket money of thousand dollars and I didn’t need to work, I probably will continue to write stories with more focus and intensity. And go back to do what I did: writing fan-fiction. There’s a game franchise that I love after all.

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