“A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, or because everything she does is golden. A writer is a writer because, even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.” – Junot Diaz
Hello, there. It’s me again. Remember me? Yes, it’s been a while, but I’m still here. I’m still writing.
Amongst many changes and all the ups and downs that have taken control of my life in the last six months, I am still writing. My twitter feed may have dwindled, my blog outright suffered, but I held fast to the golden rule – NEVER STOP WRITING.
I admire those people who write at the same time every day like clockwork, come rain or shine. But sometimes life happens. It really just does. When life forces your writing to take a detour, how do you find your way back?
This is the most important rule of writing. You are not a writer if you don’t write. It doesn’t matter how, where, or when you do it. Whatever works for you. As long as you are consistently writing. A story will never become a book if it remains in your head.
For some, writing is a compulsion. They have no choice but to write. I think all writers have this in them, but for many, squeezing it into their busy schedules can be tough. There will always be some errand or demand in life that will try to pull you away. Time can be difficult to find, but excuses are always easy. Make writing your priority.
“If you wait for inspiration to write; you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” – Dan Poynter
Pure nonsense could be flowing from your fingertips. Absolute gibberish. Hey, at least you followed the first rule – make time. Write your name over and over. Write your address. Describe the room around you. Explain how utterly stupid it feels to write about nothing. Use prompts, tools, anything to simply write. Once you get those ideas flowing and your writing muscles stretched and limbered up, you’ll be surprised at how easily the ideas start to form.
“Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed.” – Ray Bradbury
Try Something New
Maybe you feel stuck with your current work in progress. Maybe you’re in the middle of revising, and it feels like you’re banging your head against a brick wall. Maybe you’re actually banging your head against a real brick wall (it’s hard to tell the difference sometimes). Why not take a step back and start a new project?
Try something you’ve never even thought about writing before. Maybe you’ve only ever written for adults. Try your hand at YA. Mystery, romance, children’s. What have you got to lose? You might actually find your true calling in life, or at the very least, you’ll learn some new techniques to bring back to your usual genre.
“Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.” – Mark Twain
Revisit The Old
Is the underside of your bed a treasure trove of ancient, half-finished manuscripts? Sure, they might be under there for a reason, but there must be something that made you want to write them in the first place. It could have been a character, the setting, or a theme.
Pull one out. Sometimes all you need is a little time away from a manuscript to come back to it with fresh eyes. Maybe the next bestseller is within those dusty pages. A hybrid, perhaps, that combines the old manuscript and your newest idea.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” - Scott Adams
What do you think? How do you maintain your writing groove?