Write every day, but...
Most author interviews I’ve listened to end with that one tip for emerging writers – Write every day.
A couple of authors deviated from that by saying – if not adding words to your novel, then at least write something to keep the words flowing.
Occasionally the more rebellious author would announce – I don’t write every day.
It’s official. It’s okay not to write every day because life outside of writing has to go on. The two have to share the universe.
My attempts at working every day on my manuscript, plus the writing course I’m doing or posting on my Blog, sometimes causes brain overload, then shutdown. At the end of those days, you’ll find me sitting on the lounge in front of the TV, remote in hand. Even choosing a Netflix program is too much for my numb-brain.
During the numb-brain period, these actions do not help my story’s progression:
Procrasti-editing. It’s addictive. I tell myself I’m just here for a moment, but the more I do it, the more I edit. The whole idea of your first draft is to get it written, not go backwards.
Writer’s course – Don’t get me wrong, writers courses are excellent. However, if the intention is to add words to my MS, I need to work on my story first; before continuing the course. The helpful hints, links and small exercises lead to more new information, aka ‘oh look, something shiny!’ with no time or brain-strength left to add the words to my story.
Blog posts – Ideas come at different times; take this topic, for instance. Once that seed has embedded itself, it’s no use; get it done. I’ll add words to my MS tomorrow.
After doing all of the above, I sit at my computer staring at the screen a day later, telling myself: ‘Just write!’
How do I get my writing mojo back?
Listen to an author interview on a podcast – Sometimes, a question to the author triggers something in my brain that relates to me and my novel. It helps me to jump the hurdle that has me stumped.
Go for a Walk – Around the block, a park, along the river. Sometimes I focus on my novel, and sometimes, I purposely ignore my book and am delighted when it begs for attention. Sometimes I take photos of people’s gardens, tweaking that other part of my brain.
Other things I’ve tried include gardening, reading, even housework, anything to take the focus away from writing—a little like cleansing the palate at a wine tasting.
So, when is the best time to write?
Every day. Yes, for me, it’s true what most authors advise. I wrote most days during November, except for the two days I was away for a camping weekend. The story flowed easily, and I even researched as I went if the need was there. But that’s the only writing I did; I also had a daily word count goal to fulfil. I would write every day if I had no distractions, even if only for an hour.
It’s okay to miss a day or two
I learned during the numb-brain period that adding words to my book plus one other type of writing is okay but not every day, and only if I work on my book first.
It’s also okay to miss a day or two, but for me, any longer than that makes it harder to get my writing back on track.
Writing every day is my ideal. What’s your ideal? What’s your writing routine?
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