Do what works best for you

In classes and writing groups, I’m often asked about my writing practice. This always leads to comments about suggested habits we’ve all read about ( seat time, morning pages, Evernote, the perfect notebook or pen, phone apps, …), and then to guilty confessions about how difficult it is to observe them.  I’m surprised at how willing people are to beat themselves up over what they think they should be doing.

I think the ultimate practice is this:

  1. Figure out what works best for you
  2. Give yourself permission to do it
  3. Remove the obstacles and make it easy

If your writing urge strikes only once per month – fine, make the most of it. If you like to be naked when you write – ok, best keep it legal. If you write best in a coffee shop, build frequent visits into your schedule.

Take the energy you put into beating yourself up and use it to figure out what works for you. Experiment. Gather ideas without attaching any shoulds. Get the right tools and keep them in the right place. Set a timer or not. Make an outline or don’t.  Just don’t let anything stand in the way of actually writing.

More writing tips:
Make a list of keywords before you start writing
Why free-write the first draft?
Disarm your inner editor while writing

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Categories: pep talks, writing tips

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