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The Benefit of A Consistent Writing Practice

March 13, 2014

quit sulkingIf you’ve followed my blog recently, you’ll know I suffered a setback…a month’s worth of novel writing ‘disappeared’ due to a corrupted computer file.

I have tried to rally from this loss but to be honest: it hasn’t been easy.

I don’t wanna, has been my grumpy attitude towards having to re-write scenes already written. I said it better before, I’ll grouch as try to recollect a particular turn of phrase from those deleted sections.

Nothing is good enough. The material feels boring. I’ve tread this path before and I resent having to tread it again with less verve and inspiration.

Never before has writing felt like such a grind. It is PRIME TIME for procrastination. I don’t wanna. I’ll do it later. Another time. When I feel like it. *sticks out tongue at computer*

But I know it needs to get done. I want to finish this story, it needs to be told, its been a process of many years and its so close to the end, I can taste it. I don’t want to wait until inspiration strikes. I need to make the inspiration happen now whether it wants to or not…

So I’ve finally adhered to that old adage: WRITE EVERYDAY.

I used to write when I could break away from daily life. My ideal writing time was when I was jazzed by an idea or had set aside the luxury of ‘a few hours’. Those two combined was a heady mix of ‘writer’s bliss’. When I was jazzed and really had the time to tap into it and cause it to manifest…man, those were the best writer times EVER.

Looking back, my writing practice was a mix of turbo writing madness followed by an infuriating barren block, followed by a trickle allowed by circumstance, followed by a block, then a trickle, then a turbo…it was an inconstant pattern, actually: rush, stop, lurch, stop, rush, lurch. I felt at the whim of the Writing Gods. They seemed to be having a good laugh at my expense, those rascals.

But I’ve decided now I cannot wait for ‘inconsistent whims’. Otherwise, I’ll never get over this hump. So I’ve decided to drop the bar of expectation low. My reasoning: a low bar is better than no bar at all.

I’ll actually put on the stove timer. I started with ten minutes. Moved to fifteen minutes. Surely I can spare a mere fifteen minutes everyday? (If I turn of Netflix, I can.)

I tell myself: SIT DOWN AT THE COMPUTER, WRITE TO THE TIMER. GO.

Setting the timer allows me to enter my novel with minimal expectations. From this vantage point, the only way to go is UP. And so…I go UP.

Interestingly, I have found myself exceeding the timer on occasions. The timer will ring and I’ll look up from the screen: huh? what? I’ve been too involved in writing to notice the passing of time.

This method is helping me deal with my grumpy writer attitude. By the end of my session, I am typically transformed, regaining confidence–and bit by bit, my writing is growing. I am slowly recapturing what I’ve lost and my novel is growing. Ten, fifteen, twenty minutes at a time.

Such is the benefit of a consistent writing practice.

PS Don’t have a timer, you say? Try this one on line!

writer decisions

One comment

  1. […] When my computer malfunctioned and I lost a sizeable chunk of writing, I’m not gonna lie: I almost lay down on the floor and wept. […]



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