Ha. This ended up being once a month.
So, as my summer comes to an end, I realize there is a bit of reassessing I need to do. One thing I’m thinking about are my writing habits.
I spent the last seven years only writing “when I felt like it.” Now, this isn’t so bad when writing is a fun hobby with no pressure or deadlines. Work at your own pace and quit whenever you want to.
However, if you plan to write professionally–whether it be academically, technically, or even creatively–the method of writing “when I feel like it” won’t cut it.
I might not be the only one who’s skeptical about scheduling times to write. Some things are out of our control, and most days do not go as planned.
But I realize I might have gotten more writing done this summer if I had developed some sort of habit in writing over the past seven years of creative writing.
The “when I feel like it” writing method depends heavily on your state of being–physically, emotionally, mentally. Not to share too much, but my state of being was all over the place this summer, and it definitely got in the way of my writing.
So, while lists like this will require heavy tailoring, I think it’s healthy to explore all options if you want to improve on something; in this case, it’s writing. It’s a fairly simple list, and there are plenty of others out there you can customize to fit your needs:
1. Schedule times for writing
Even if you can’t stick to it every single day, it’s good to have something to fall back on in case timing works in your favor. Writing at certain times of the day could train your brain like an exercise regimen.
Also, if you end up working in the writing industry–whatever it might be–you’ll already be on the right track to organizing yourself and meet deadlines or plan your writing accordingly.
2. Write in increments
There’s nothing stopping us when we’re In The Zone, but then you might have those burnt-out moments of mental exhaustion, like ‘That’s all I had today. Now what?’ If you’re anything like me, you might find yourself a little stuck.
My suggestion is writing in time blocks of 10-20 minutes, or however long is write for you. then stop.
Pause. Give yourself a moment to reflect, stand up and stretch, walking around your room or house… get something to eat….
Take a moment to exercise your body as well as give your mind a small break. It’s a good time to just briefly review what you just wrote.
Yeah, yeah, don’t edit while you write. You’re The Writer here. Feel out what works for you.
3. Be prepared for anything
You might be in class or at work or commuting when an idea suddenly strikes you. When possible, document–on a slip of paper or on your phone. Let it ruminate in your head. See if it survives longer as an idea, if it can grow.
For me, if the idea survives for at least 2 days somewhere in the back of my mind, then I start writing it and see where it goes. It could be a non-specific scene idea, or a character’s backstory–anything I might be able to use later.
Most–if not all–of this blog post was written at 2am, on my phone, in bed. The words here were finalizing into specific sentences in my head, but I didn’t want to forget them in the morning. I don’t like writing on my phone as I’m much faster on a real-life keyboard, but it works when I need to.
4. Take the time to read
Get inspired. Devote some time to studying your genre, or read something completely unlike your own. It might trigger some ideas, challenge you, give you something new to try out. People prefer working in routine, but others might benefit from changing things up every now and then.
I’ve been trying to get back into Wattpad recently. I started reading this nice sci-fi story and am enjoying it. I’m not writing in the genre at all, but it has definitely given me the urge to write my own.
That’s all I have to offer at the moment.
Whatever writing advice I had has already been posted in past posts, and this blog has offered very little over the past three months or so. Writing in general hit a bit of a snag because of pressures I had outside of writing, but I’m getting back on track.
I hope to gain a better routine once I’m back in school, bring this blog back to life when I can. Weekly posts should be a more solid promise.
I’ll also try to be more communicative when possible, though I can barely keep up a good conversation in real-life.
Did your summer go as planned? Finished or continued any projects?
Share down below, or add any other writing tips–even other ways of organizing in general!
Thank you for your time.