How do you write best?
“I only write when I’m inspired, so I see to it that I’m inspired every morning at nine o’clock.” ~ Peter De Vries
Many of you have been members of other workshops with us in which we’ve devoted a lot of time and focus to building a writing practice.
A huge part of making writing an everyday habit is about knowing yourself.
Recently many of you have told me similar things about wanting to reprioritize writing, about not knowing where to start in your writing, about finding it almost impossible to juggle writing time with competing demands on your time and mental energy, about needing some kind of accountability as a writer.
Let’s face it: Our lives right now (pandemic or no pandemic) are sometimes not conducive to developing a daily writing practice. Sometimes it feels downright impossible. Even if you have a regular writing practice that is serving you well, you may want to push yourself in this class to make it more productive.
So before we get into brainstorming and finding topics and exploring memories and all the lessons involved in first draft writing, as we will in the next few days and weeks, I want you to make a commitment to yourself and your writing.
The first step is to ask yourself: What are my inner writing rhythms and how can I honor them?
Jordan Rosenfeld (in A Writer’s Guide To Persistence, a practical book about creating a writing practice that I strongly recommend), describes your “writing rhythm” as the time of day and the conditions under which your creative energy is at its peak. I like this word (“rhythm”) to describe what we’re talking about.
- Do you need silence? A quiet, distraction-free office? Or the bustling commotion of a busy coffee house?
- Are you a morning person? Or does your best thinking come at night?
- When are you at your most tired and overwhelmed?
- How long can you write without becoming spent?
- Do you write best in long sessions or short bursts?
- What else do you need to do your best work?
- Do you like to write on legal pads, or in google docs? (We encourage writing by hand in notebooks for the first draft, as we’ll talk about later.)
- Do you have prewriting rituals (walking the dog, making coffee, listening to music, meditating) that get you into the creative mindset?
- Can you multitask — write on notepads while watching your kid out of the corner of your eye on the playground — or do you need complete focus?
- Do you need to close out all social media sites?
Describe your ideal conditions for writing. If you wish, share them in our Group forum. Be specific as possible: day of time, seating, environment, noise level…