Writers love to talk about writing. I do. Writers love to write about writing. I do. Writers love/hate to write. I do. What a crazy thing – the writing life.
As writers, we tend to do anything within the far reaches of the edge of sanity to keep from writing. We make excuses. We allow life situations to barge in. Life situations which for most working folk, wouldn’t affect their workday one iota.
Then, once we take the plunge, we open all the creative spillways at our disposal. Once we get into the keying of words, concepts, stories, how-to’s and the like, we rock our computers like mad scientists on the edge of ultimate knowledge.
Writers share this mentality, at least many of us do. What we must realize each day stands as this blog post’s main theme.
One thing I’ve observed in over a half century of life is that people tend to live as though they will be on earth forever. Yes, intellectually each of us knows death lies in our future. We do own an expiration date.
For those of us who write, each of us who possess ideas and concepts and stories we wish to deliver to the world, I’m amazed at how we put off the very passion we desire. I know better. I understand finality due to three close calls with death in my life. Yet I still do not apply myself to my passions as someone who knows death is a reality drawing near.
I’m not attempting to be morbid. I’m stating fact. If writers, or people in general, lived as though they were dying (which we all are), we would be more motivated, more inspired, and more progressive with our goals and dreams. We step too much into the land of distraction, in my humble opinion.
How do we move from complacency to passion urgency? Nurture. We treat our creativity like a red-headed step child. We throw creativity to the writing curb when we flee challenges. Writers confront obstacles constantly. If you don’t believe me, write and publish a book and attempt to sell it. You’ll discover more roadblocks and setbacks than you ever could have imagined.
When we embrace our creativity, when we get excited about our work, nothing will keep us from writing. Once we get rolling, we become the elusive perpetual motion machine. We go to bed thinking about our book. We wake up with ideas and excitement and anticipation in relation to our book. We feel empowered each keystroke. We can’t wait to get behind our pen or keyboards. We proclaim nothing will ever get in the way of our writing ever again!
Then we key “The End” and our creative drive drops to zero. We’re spent. We want to get back to that high of writing, but we grieve the loss of the creative trail we just traversed. The death of that gestalt creativity which created our book weighs us down. We will never love like that again.
True enough. Yet, experienced writers know a new love awaits, if we will only let it blossom. If we will only encourage our inner creative passions to arise and forge a new trail, we will discover our high once again. Our love on the highest of intellectual planes will soar us back into the infinite possibilities of life, love, writing.
We must nurture these budding loves. When we struggle to get back to writing, too often we force ourselves into creativity rather than welcome our entrance back into to magic kingdom of writing. I’ve written much on my opinion of the catchphrase, “Writers write.” It’s no secret I am not a fan of approaching creativity in this manner. Some people do well with this approach and I say more power to them.
For me, being forced to enjoy myself has always, without fail, been counter-productive. When I’m forced to do something I love, my personality rebels against the intrusion against my will. Yes, eventually I may grudgingly get back to the grindstone of writing and even snag a bit of enjoyment, but my passions become diminished from what they could have been. Character flaw? So be it. This is who I am as a creative person. I know many others in the same boat.
This leaves those of us who revile the creative whip to discover the “choice” of creative nurture and grooming. I find I must walk a slight analytical line to get back into the writing groove.
I know why Ray Bradbury and many others say to write every day. Ray never said, “Write with excellence every day.” I’m sure he, along with the rest of us would love that scenario. Ray knew if you write every day, when you nurture your creative passions back into a love affair, you would already be on the writing horse and you would not have to develop an analytical writing regimen to get started. This keeps the left brain from robbing your creativity.
In October, about two weeks before Nanowrimo began on November 1st, I analytically sat myself down, jumped on the 750Words.com site and purposed to write at least 1000 words a day leading up to the writing event. I indeed wrote at least 1000 words per day. Once November 1st came, I was then ready to write my book, which I knocked out in 23 days.
The nurturing and grooming of my creativity did not stop there. I continued writing every day in December. Instead of writing my book, I took on blog writing projects. One, a month-long project for January, kept my creative juices going for a couple weeks. The other, two postings a week on this blog site, keeps me tuned into writing every day. My transition to beginning my novel has become a huge desire because I’m already writing. I just wrote a book, I’m successfully writing blogs, and I’m now dying to write my enw book. Since I’m in the writing groove, I can slip into my passion without needing to force myself each day to the computer.
This works for me. It works well. Writing every day has worked for many writers over the centuries. Understand that writing every day does not necessarily help every writer out there. We all share the concept of individuality. This means we each operate from a slightly, or vastly, different perspective. Find what works well for you.
Quick note: When I produced nine manuscripts in two years, I was writing every day. When I then went into a “manuscript drought” I had gotten away from writing every day. As soon as I began writing every day, I completed a manuscript in November, then began knocking out blog writing projects, and now I’m writing a novel in January. Productivity gets exponentially enhanced when I write every day. Give it a shot. I’m glad Ray Bradbury and others encouraged me to do so. I encourage you to write every day.