Most people who sit down to write must first contend with their Inner Critic: that super helpful part of our brains tasked with reminding us how much we suck. But there’s another voice in there that gets in the way of creativity, and sometimes it can harm our writing lives even more than the much-maligned Inner Critic.
Tag: writing tips (Page 2 of 7)
Unintended breaks from writing – long and short – happen. Writing and productivity experts will tell you that strict adherence to routines and word counts are the only ways to find the gold at the end of the writing rainbow. But life happens, and sometimes you wake up and find it’s been weeks (or, gasp! months) since you’ve written.
Ever wanted to get things done but because something keeps holding you back — lack of time, perfectionism, distractions, etc. — you’re not able to get going? I certainly have. There are a few creative endeavors in my life, including writing, that make me feel this way.
However, over time I’ve learned a few tactics for how to overcome this perpetuating procrastination & perfectionism routine! One of them is remembering the below four writing mantras to help me prioritize, focus, and feel optimistic that even smallest of steps forward will help me reach my end goal (which also happens to be a TRM core value).
I have a thought, perhaps out of the blue or perhaps in the midst of writing something else, and I give myself permission to pursue it on paper in an uncontrolled way wherever it wants to go-even if it digresses (which it usually does).
– Peter Elbow on “Unfocused Exploring”, Toward a Phenomenology of Freewriting
Perhaps the biggest roadblock to getting back into the writing game is finding dedicated time to actually write. But once you put your foot down, schedule in the time and actually sit down to put words down, the second biggest roadblock is not knowing what to write. I’ve found that guided free-writing really helps.
The first piece of writing advice that everyone hears is the simplest: write. Do the work. Make the time. Create a practice. Write a certain number of words or pages every day.
Maybe you’ve heard the Edison quote: Genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.
There’s wisdom in this advice – you must do the work. You need discipline, judgment, and command of the language. You develop the craft through effort.