I was asked, once again, if I had any tips for beginning writers. In thinking of this, I realized that no matter how long we have been writing, each of us is a beginner at some point in our writer’s journey. We are always learning and relearning, as long as we are alive.
Just now I am beginning with a new transition in my journey. Forced into. I have never been very good at transitions, either in writing or in life. I tend to freeze, my mind refuses to go forward, and I end up rewriting previous passages–going around the mountain like the Israelites on their 40 years in the desert.
I finally decided that if I can’t go to the promised land, I can move on closer to it with other projects. I set aside my fiction project for now Read more
We are still in drought, but the past week we got a half inch of rain. With no more water than this on their thirsty leaves, the rain lilies managed to shoot up out of the ground and produce this beauty.
The past week I read several articles by writers offering their personal rules for writing. I decided to look at my own. I boiled them down to the following 5 practices that are essential to me, behaviors that ‘water’ me as a writer. I have to call them practices, because the word rules gives me the heebee-jeebees. And I have not perfected them; I’m still practicing.
- Commitment to my writing craft. Write every day, a scheduled focused time in the same place. This is sacred time, only a family crisis, or crisis in the garden, interferes with this schedule.
- Encourage myself. No criticism allowed, not only on first drafts, but also when revising and editing. Believe in my own process.
- Determine the theme of every piece, large or small. Write it down and refer to it often to keep on track, but change it when the writing reveals differently.
- Have weekly Creativity Time. This is a meeting with myself, informal and with refreshments, where I play with ideas and inventory work underway, and things I want to try.
- Read, read, read. Read only the highest quality to which I aspire, and that which sparks my imagination. Read some bit on the craft of writing weekly.
The above practices help me to do the work, and to enjoy it. After all, anything done without joy might as well not be done at all. Creativity, just like God, is found in the joy.
You will have your own personal needs for ‘watering’ your writer. Take time–have a meeting with yourself– and figure them out, and write them down.