I go through periods of consistency with my writing. Having a routine to make sure I get the writing done early, before the day gets too far underway, works best for me.
I listen to podcasts on my daily commute. Half an hour each way slips by that much quicker as I listen to ‘So You Want To Be A Writer’ with Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait, or more recently ‘Your Creative Life’ by Vanessa Carnevale. The interviews with authors provide interesting insights into the habits of working writers. I am inspired by people who aim for a minimum number of words on the page, such as 500 a day. It doesn’t sound that much, but there are days when even a relatively small figure such as this is harder than I would have thought possible.
When the words flow there is nothing quite like it. Everything else seems to recede into insignificance, my fingers fly, I can see what is happening and what might happen next. It is enthralling.
As a grand gesture on 1 January 2014, I started working through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. There are still elements of the workbook that remain in my life, and the morning pages are the most important. I write slowly by hand but every day I churn out my 3 pages. They contain a mixed assortment of thoughts and plot points and story ideas and dream fragments and the odd rant about someone or something that has annoyed me and that I can’t quite let go of yet. Until I write it out.
Sometimes I flick back through these pages, and there is reassurance at times in knowing that I got through something that seemed insurmountable, or I find the essence of an idea that ended up working its way into a short story. Or I stumble across the seed of an idea that I can now expand upon.
Now if I could only challenge this discipline into working on my creative output every day. How often do you write?