Friday, August 3, 2018

Get Back on that Writing Horse

Okay. I fell off the writing horse. I didn't write a single word of fiction yesterday. So much for that streak, right? I'll have to climb back on that particular horse and try again. But guess what? I'm here writing another post, so perhaps I'll make writing here a streak too. Now I just have to climb back on that horse and start riding again. Being a writer means you have to be about the writing, you know. It's the kind of craft that surely benefits from daily practice.

But you know what? Making a daily writing habit and sticking to isn't always easy. I've read a lot about making fiction writing something you do every day, and the different ways other writers go about forming the habit. There are tons of articles and even some books about the subject. Some offer steps to help you. Other articles offer some deeper insights or observations or just want to convince you of the value of writing daily.

Now, what exactly they mean by 'writing every day' will vary if you look at them. Sometimes, it could be just journaling or writing whatever pops into your mind. That may be good for some, but that's not what I mean.

For me, fiction is the primary goal and so any writing I'm doing on a given day should at the very least include some progress on a short story or some longer piece (such as the novel I'm currently working on). Yes, I've heard of some people suggesting warm up exercises, stream of consciousness, or whatever, but if the aim is more targeted and whatever daily practice that results is focused practice, hopefully the enjoyment of accomplishing something creative—something that might be shared with others—is there.

Then again, I suppose we, all of us writers, find our own approaches over time, if we really want to keep writing stories. But all of us need some sort of structures to help make forming that fiction writing habit go a little smoother. Plus, we have to make the time in each day. We have to carve it out of other areas, out of the spread of hours we have during a given day.

It's good to have measurements too to give us some focus. Daily word count quotas are always a good one--or you could think in terms of pages completed. Or even projects done. Set deadlines. Do whatever will help you get in your writing time. That's what I have to do too.

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