I’ve been mulling over the past time of ‘writing’ here of late. For many years, I wrote because I enjoyed the art of creativity, of using daydreams to formulate stories and characters, to escape into my creativity and be anything I wanted to be. Moments of creative clarity become few and far between when you have a child, work, and the myriad responsibilities of adulthood.
Among my fellow writers in the writer’s group, we often debate the merits of writing as work or waiting for the moments of inspiration. The more I read and think about the subject, the more I lean towards balancing them both for the fullest potential of good writing.
As the National Novel Writing Month teaches us; forcing yourself to write, not matter what, and cranking out those words gets the story out on paper (or into a file). Subsequently, you can now take your time with muse in hand, to edit and write with more inspiration. You have the framework laid out before you, and re-writes are, after all, an essential part of the writing process anyway.
If you hope to be a real writer (and by ‘real’ I mean a writer as a career choice), then consider the following;
Words are money. Many writers get paid per word, so waiting for the fickle muse to inspire can leave you hungry.
Write daily and give yourself goals. Set wordcounts to reach each day, even if its only 500 (for now). Build up to what works best for you. Check out Inkygirl’s wordcount challenge.
Assess your excuses and find solutions. List all the reasons why you’re not writing. Now see how many are valid. Something like “the phone rings” is easily remedied by shutting off the phone during the time set aside for writing.
Once you realize the excuses and reasons why you don’t write, now focus on finding the resolution to removing them as obstacles. Kids distract you? Send them to bed earlier with the idea they can lay in bed and read before you turn out the lights. Most kids will stay quiet with the idea they can stay up a bit later.
Weigh quantity versus quality. Only you can decide if force-writing works for you. I found the NaNoWriMo produced too much crap, and I didn’t enjoy my writing time all. I now opt for small blocks of writing, lower word counts, but I can enjoy myself while doing so.
And why are you reading this blog? You should be writing!