It’s pounded into the heads of us writers: we must write even when uninspired. Write anyways. Force yourself. Don’t wait for inspiration or you’ll never get it done. Just stick yourself in a chair and write.
None of that’s wrong. But it does sound very grueling. Pulling words out of your head even when you don’t feel like it, feeling like you’re pulling teeth. Yanking scenes out and plodding away even if you hate every word of it (those days are real, and most of the time you have to do it anyway).
But I’ve begun to wonder if there’s an alternative. To make writing with inspiration a habit.
*hits pause button* first we have to explain what inspiration means.
I’m not talking about “new ideas” That plot that comes out of nowhere or that line of dialogue or sudden new character. I’m talking about the days you sit down to write feeling like you WANT to write. You get really into the scene, into the emotions of your characters, you are on fire and really living it. The words are flowing out and won’t stop.
I think it’s possible to make that a habit.
Writing is a skill, right? And with any skill, the more you do it, the better and better you get. I think a lot times we think that getting better at writing means our prose gets better, our characters are more well-rounded, the plot is more engaging, etc. But it also means we get better at the writing itself.
The more we write, the more of a habit it becomes.
I’m not saying you won’t stop having good days and bad days. That will always happen. But if it becomes a habit that say, you sit down for two hours each morning and write, the less you’ll think of “I don’t feel like it.”
The more you write, the more you can get into that “zone”.
Practice makes perfect, right???
I got inspired for this post by how well my drafting process is going this month. I’ve been scheduling my writing time, cranking out the words…
I remember times when it seem to take all eternity to write 500 words. Now I can do a 1,000 an hour. (now some people can do more, and some people can’t, but that’s not the point here). Why can I do more than I could four years ago? Because I wrote. I practiced it so to speak, and now I’ve gotten better.
Which is really exciting *jumps up and down clapping hands*
Summer is supposed to be vacations and time off, right??? THEN WHY DOES IT FEEL BUSIER??? (oh, because this is what it means to have 5 jobs.)
Summer has also…not come. It should hot out, but it’s cold and wet. So wet I think I just saw Noah sailing by. I better go and prepare my lifeboat.
I also finished reading this book (which has been sitting on my shelf since high school, which after reading, I’m glad I waited as it was VERY heavy.)
Header Photo by Peter Fogden on Unsplash
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