Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Rebecca's Writing: Shorter Days and Longer Nights

Just this week I've started to notice how the days are shortening. I no longer need to blot out the morning light with a sleep mask, and the curtains need to be drawn earlier in the evenings. There are days when it is so wet, grey and bleak that I don't venture out at all.

In theory this should mean more time for writing, but other interests often claim my time. I like to make videos (check out the one I made for my 'Naughty Ninetines' trilogy on Amazon) and I play piano and sing to guitar. I have joined a French class, and I love to go for long rambles with friends or my partner over the moors near my home. I am something of a 'fair weather walker' but can stand a few showers.

For we writers, doing things other than writing can sometimes induce guilt, especially if we have to finish a book for a deadline. My excuse is that I need to be creative in different ways, and they all feed into each other. Besides, a writer who does nothing but write is surely going to run out of material to write about before long!

Everyone writes in different ways, too. Some like to do a regular so many hours a day; others strive to produce so many words a day. My method is to follow the ebb and flow of inspiration, so that some days I will write for hours on end and other days not at all. Of course not all of a writer's work takes place at the keyboard either: thinking, plotting, planning or just letting ideas lie fallow for a while are just as important.

We all need to discover our best writing routine for ourselves, so don't listen when people say things like 'You must write a thousand words a day if you're going to become a successful author.' Writing does take practice, but it is not a sport and sometimes an hour of thinking will save you days of wasted effort if you start writing before the ideas, events and characters have properly taken hold in your imagination. So if you have a piece of writing work on the go it is okay to spend a day just thinking, maybe making a few notes, rather than trying to write before inspiration has properly taken hold. And when it does, you will feel like a bird in flight - fantastic!


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