Writing
Comments 19

Writing Regularly – A Prerequisite to Good Writing?

 

Be willing to write

I didn’t study writing in college and have never attended writing workshops.  The only writing classes I ever attended were “Creative Writing 101,” and “Advance Journalism,” during summer school in Harvard.  At that time I was already a feature writer and my articles were being published by a foreign magazine.

I became a journalist by chance: When I was working as a travel photographer, the person assigned to write an article that had to be published immediately couldn’t make it, so I conducted the interview, took the pictures, wrote the article and sent it to our main office.  I received a call from our publisher shortly before publication date and he said the article was written well. Thus began my writing career.

In 2010, I decided to revive my writing life after a ten-year hiatus, and even though I continued to journal, I had no confidence at all as far as writing was concerned. I began reading up on how to improve my writing. Up until then, the books on writing that I had read were those concerning feature writing and journalism.  Since I wanted to explore creative writing, I gobbled up book after book on the subject. One of the most important things that the authors advocated was a regular writing schedule – daily and at the same time, and if possible, at the same place. That certainly was news to me.

When I was a journalist, I carried a notebook with me everywhere I went and wrote whenever I could, wherever I could. In restaurants, bus stations, airports – everywhere.

But since I wanted to learn how to be a good writer, I tried to follow the advice to set up a regular writing schedule and a regular writing place or space. I tried really hard, but it just didn’t happen.

There’s a perfectly logical explanation for the need to write daily, at the same time and place. But knowing this didn’t help, and I don’t know if it was just the years spent on the road without any writing regimen, or if it was my personality.

I found an ally in Eric Maisel, Ph.D.  In his book “A Writer’s Space, Make Room to Dream, to Work, to Write,” the author extolled the virtues of having a regular writing space.  But he also enjoined his readers to go out of their comfort zone.

“It is a bad trick of the mind to announce to yourself that you can only write in a certain place, in certain circumstances, in a certain kind of weather, at a certain time of the day, after having a certain kind of meal, with a certain sort of pen. It is fine to have preferences but important to commit to writing anywhere. That way you can grab ideas when you’re away from home; you can take a little writing trip when you feel dull at your desk; you can choose among you excellent haunts and decide which feels most congenial at the moment. By all means maintain a primary writing place; then add alternatives.”

My computer is my primary writing place.  Otherwise, the world is my writing place and I write when I can and where I can. It’s a relief to know that it’s all just fine.

 

Advertisements

19 Comments

  1. I’m all for writing regularly, though I’m not very attached to what that means. I’m writing everyday this month, because I’m doing two challenges (novel writing month and blog posting month). However, that doesn’t always work in my everyday life. Sometimes work saps all my mental spoons and it’s all I can do just to write once a week.

    For a while I was doing a morning poetry ritual, in which every morning I woke, wrote a poem in my notebook, and then started my day. Haven’t done that in a while.

    But I’ll write anywhere. On my laptop, in a notebook, in my living room, in a cafe, on a street corner, morning, noon, and night. It all depends on what’s working for me at that moment.

    Like

  2. I agree, the more you write, the more you write. It sounds crazy unless you write. For years all my writing was either in a journal, or my head. Blogging, and more specifically blogging daily for NaPoBloMo has been like opening a faucet, words are just pouring out everywhere (like here).

    Like

  3. I agree with this of course. Writing everyday is a challenge due to the daily obligations of work, children, family etc. But making the effort and in a sense squeezing out those juicy ideas from the recesses of your soul can prove beneficial.

    Like

  4. I like your perspective. I definitely think that writing every day is important. But especially if you travel or your life is otherwise hectic having a specific time and a specific place just might not be feasible. I’m inclined to think that it’s the commitment and the daily practice that are the main things.

    Like

  5. I do find that once I start to write I can’t stop…I don’t really have time, but now I have given myself over to Nablopomo, all those daily tasks which I must do before I write don’t seem important any more. As I type I am ignoring a sinkful of dirty dishes! Maybe setting aside a time and a place is a little like making an appointment in your diary – a commitment to yourself, your dream.

    Like

  6. Pingback: How to Begin a New Writing Habit | Writing on the Pages of Life

  7. Pingback: How to Write Effortlessly | Writing on the Pages of Life

  8. I very much agree with the perspective…writing regularly hones our skill of creative writing…everyday we cannot get brilliant ideas where thoughts automatically flows, we have to exercise our thinking, press our imagination and trigger our inspiration to get the ingredients to create our story…regular and more writing makes this exercise easy and better to deliver the creative pieces…nice post!!!

    Like

    • Thanks Nihar. I like the phrase, “we have to exercise our thinking, press our imagination and trigger our inspiration to get the ingredients to create our story.” Exercise, press and trigger – three important things to keep in mind when writing. I agree! Thanks for dropping by

      Liked by 1 person

Thank you for taking the time to comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s