How do I find time to write?
That is this months question from the Insecure Writers Support Group. More about them later.
Writing is an integral part of my life. If I ignore it, I get an uncomfortable feeling in my whole body, which is similar to how I feel when I don’t exercise. It’s somewhere between an itch and a flinch. The feeling that something important is missing. Something fundamental.
I have to write.
I’ve tried, and continue to try, different routines. Mostly I write in the morning after I’ve meditated, exercised and had breakfast, but sometimes life gets in the way and I need to fit it into the afternoon and/or evening. I try not to let that upset me. It’s just life, after all. My best writing happens when I’m most focused.
This summer I’ve been struggling with a story that literally gives me nightmares because the setting is so dark. I keep putting it away and writing something else. When I pick it up again, to my surprise, I find the words flow like an avalanche. It is as if all those days I left it behind had built up inside me. I think the story still wants to be finished:)
I’m not sure that what I’ve said is helpful to others, but it’s the truth. My short answer is: I have to write and I do it whenever I can.
For years I put my dreams of writing aside, because I found it too difficult to do while I had a full-time teaching job. I regret that now. My advice to younger people would be to just do it. Even if it’s only fifteen minutes a week. Just do it. Your skills as a writer grow with every word you put out there.
If you find you can’t write there are lots of tricks you can try to get you going. Google it and see what fits for you. In the classroom I found the best practice for motivating students was a timed write. For example I would offer a journal topic and tell them to write about that or anything else for ten minutes. At the end of the ten we would count our words and write the number down at the bottom of the piece where no one but them (and me) could see it. The next day we would write again. The openness of the topic, the set length of time and the individual challenge of adding words made most students write more and their writing skills developed from there.
About the Insecure Writers Support Group
“The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support. ” (from their website). As they say, “Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!” The first Wednesday of every month they post a question and the bloggers write about that question and share their ideas.
I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s response to this month’s question.
I’m madly reading as many posts by other IWSG writers as I can. One that I absolutely love is: Donna K. Weaver’s blog. It has a Neil Gaimann clip that’s both funny and inspiring.