Lessons Learned from Writing Every Day
Yesterday was day one of my writing challenges to write every day. Here’s is what I learned.
Writing is hard. No matter how excited you were about your plot, chances are that your ideas and motivation evaporated sometime during the night. If you were writing during the day, you likely have unexpected interruptions. If you wait until evening, you may find yourself too tired. My interruptions began at 3:30 in the morning. Nevertheless, I got up at 5 a.m. and used my Miracle Morning routine to find my motivation, and The Greatest Showman soundtrack to rev my enthusiasm. I grabbed my writing bag, stocked with manuscript, purse, Kindle, and writing journal, and drove to a house where I’m caring for friends animals and flower bed. I was only 10 minutes late to start writing to meet my goal for August to write from 6:30-8:30. Want to know why? I couldn’t find the light switch. And then I couldn’t find my pen. I settled for a window, located the little bugger tucked into my manuscript, and turned my current favorite song for writing onto loop. I worked until 8:30 with only a few detours to care for cats and move the host to another plant.
When You’re Out of Ideas
I didn’t know what I would write. I had only a vague idea of what needed to happen to move the plot forward, but no clue how to realistically pull it off.
The best way to write is to just start writing.
Describe the setting if you need to, while the characters decide what they will do. Give yourself permission to write bad sentences that will need to be fixed later, like: “He was angry.” (Thank you, Captain Obvious.) Remember, this is a draft.
Drafts are about finding the story you want to tell, not telling the story you want readers to find.
If you really are at a loss for direction, you can try filling out a worksheet. I did mine backward, filling out the motives and needs, along with who was in the scene and every other box and using the information to figure out a general scenario of events. Then I began to write – and went until 8:30, ending with eight handwritten pages.
You know what? I was on a roll. I forgot to write down the questions left in my session, but I know I’ll write tomorrow. But not what will surprise me.
What are your writing goals? You do not have to wake up at 5 to write for two hours – though there is magic at 5:00 for those willing to get up for it. Remember, even a bit of writing stacks up. 5 minutes becomes 105 minutes by the end of a week and 3,105 by the end of the month. 500-word stacks into 3,500 in a week and 15,000 in a month. Think of what you could do with even half an hour. Remember, our goal is to create the habit of writing so your brain is primed and trained to turn on its creativity. Habits are built one day at a time. What will you do with today?