How to jealously guard your writing time.

The thing with writing, or what I have been led to believe is that whatever time works, works. You are not set to a wound up to go off when the clock strikes.

But there should be some writing – because the only way to get better at something (you can say it with me) is to practise.

So I got an app to help me. You can tell I’m embracing the digital era. ‘Call of Writing’ and it was wonderful for the few months I kept up with it. There is a timer for however long you want to write. And they send all these writing encouragements throughout the day. I figured it wasn’t that hard to get at least 5 minutes to write creatively. Just get hands on the keyboard and see the writing ooze out.

Then, of course, I realised that without discipline even the best laid plans were bound to fail. So the app went the way of my ‘Lose Weight in 30 days’ app.

Then I signed up for a weekly writing challenge. How hard is it to get at least 3000 words in per week! Average about 400 words a day. Surely there was time to throw together some ideas in 24 hours. But you know how it goes…or not.

So rather than give you all my failures, I’ll tell you want I’m learning.

Reduce distractions. Get a time when your favourite show is NOT on TV. And probably when it’s NOT meal time. I know you can’t plan inspiration either. Like I had a good idea for some story about sleep, at about 3am when I had no sleep, no notebook, and no pen.

It doesn’t have to be proper. This is not the final thing you are sending in for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You are allowed to break some rules as you in grain the skill. Perfection is the killer of creativity. Have you heard that somewhere? So don’t hold back. If you are writing a day it’s just for you. See where the story leads untethered.

Every little counts. I was texting back and forth with a friend and she asked about growth. I said I didn’t think there was but I hoped so. And she said maybe I was ignoring the small wins too. It counts if you write out two lines for that idea. It counts if you have your poem in fragments. But it will NOT count if you just had the thought to write and did a lot of nothing. Writing looks like so many things to each of us. So take your little and run with it. Maybe you’ll build endurance to four lines a day.

And I hope this works for me too!

Today, I’ll count that I wrote this blog post. What writing successes should you be counting?

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