I read a lot of posts, blogs etc.. with writers who are great at arranging a set time to write. I really wish I could be like that, but I don’t think I ever will. For a start my work shifts are all over the place. One day I’m on a late and then the next an early, so saying at X time I’m going write will never work for me.
I’m also not a great night owl, I wish I was. It would be great to stay up late let my creative juices run wild, but usually come 10pm, my imagination has already hit the hay. That being said, being a few weeks in from my resolution to really push on with the writing, I’m not doing bad. I’ve really cracked on with my next scene, and I’m planning each varied day around a set time to write, be it morning or afternoon.
You truly do have good days and bad. I’m not one to sit in front of the computer and wait for my muse to strike, as if it’s not on the payroll at that time, it’s not helping me out. More it’s got it’s back to me, arms crossed with the occasional swivel to stick out its tongue. If it’s not happening then it really isn’t happening.
Perhaps I’m a little hard on myself though. Because I’ve come to the conclusion that being a writer, isn’t all about spouting a vomit of words. I agree that reading someone else’s genius is part of the process, as is critiquing work. So one day I might be working on my own novel, the next I might decide to critique or even take a break to write a blog. I think as long as your revolving in the world of words, and diving into creativity, it’s all part of the process isn’t it?
But the bad days can get you down, when your brain only churns out a sludge of incoherent mush, or when you spend a good hour fretting over a plot hole or a fact you haven’t correctly justified and then realise it’s not all that important. Yesterday I did exactly that, fretting over how my incarcerated M.C was able to play Bubble witch on their phone when they’ve no access to WiFi or cash to top-up. A bit of scouting back through my work, and I found I had given a relatively good justification for that.
There’s so many levels to writing, like an onion in reverse. You have a layer of plot, character and location. Then there’s the grammar and spelling and then the back-plot, what to include and not? Then there’s the show more than tell, and getting the balance of narrative and dialogue correct and all the rest in the middle. Like can my character have access to cash. Or a prime mistake I made recently, picked up by a critique, was my creating an enchanted path where my characters were safe to follow and then part way through they’re attacked on that path, which of course was impossible!! I can’t believe I missed that! And that’s why I do love the critiquing process, it really is a lifesaver and I’ve learnt ALOT about writing since I became involved with it.
Sometimes I find I write my best scenes away from the glare of a screen, usually when I’m washing up or cooking dinner, annoyingly when I’m driving, and then I’m trying to rehearse it mentally, ready to write it down on any scrap of paper – I’m not ashamed, I’ve used bog roll before. I even find I’m plotting a scene as I drift off to sleep. I let my characters run riot and show me where they want to go. Trouble is remembering it when I wake up, so maybe not the best tip I can give.
Writing for me is more than the actual pen to paper or fingers to key. Like my reverse onion it’s all the other layers of creativity that you choose to include. Whether reading, listening to music, swimming, cooking, critiquing. It’s all part of it, so maybe we shouldn’t beat ourselves up when we’re not chained to our writing implement of choice.