Any individual who’s attempted consistent creativity recognizes what a fickle mistress she is. She tempts and taunts us, sometimes sitting just out of our reach. And sometimes, she leaves us high and dry without a single ounce of creativity to carry us forward.
If you’re like me, you experience days of writing deluges where words come one after another, and you think that these words will change the world and propel you into life as a beloved and celebrated author. Then, that sweet mistress betrays you. She leaves like a one-night stand running away into the night, that mistake she never meant to make.
Welp, when it comes to staying consistently creative, I’ve given up. I realized that life comes in seasons, and it’s better to adjust to them rather than ignore them. For me that means:
1. I write every day (sometimes).
Yes, I know, that sounds contradictory. But, it’s the truth! I force myself to write every day, but I allow my inspiration and mood to determine what and how long I write. This means being content with the sentence I painstakingly put out or the entire next chapter in my novel.
With my busy schedule, I need to understand my limitations. A tough day at work might require less writing at night. Or, finals week. Yeah, I’ll just leave it at that.
Letting my inspiration come and go naturally helps me reduce disappointment and frustration. I’ve learned to embrace and enjoy my writing process.
2. I give things time.
The best advice I ever received as a writer was to let my pieces breath. Writers encounter a variety of emotions when the complete something, and time helps weigh them all out.
My first reaction is often, “This is the worst thing I’ve ever written!”. There’s that perfectionist rearing her ugly head again. But, when I take a week or even a month away from each piece, I come back with a clearer mindset. No, I’m not the next Jane Austen, but I can review my pieces practically. This sets up for better self-editing and prevents me from giving up so easily.
3. I let myself write.
When those moments of writer’s high (is that even a thing?) come, I let myself write even at the cost of other activities. I NEVER advocate avoiding necessities like bathroom breaks, food, and sleep, but sometimes the dishes can wait. Better yet, save it for writer’s block days!
I promise that toilet will get cleaned, eventually.
Giving myself the ability to maintain more flexible schedule helps me maintain a more regular writing schedule. This is much preferred to the one month on, six months off method I previously employed…
4. I don’t give up!
This one speaks for itself. Don’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever give-up. Just like any activity, writing takes practice. I promise you have something worth sharing, so don’t give up on putting it out their for others to find.
Don’t be afraid to find your rhythm, and let’s get writing!
– Aubrey Alene