Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Writing on a schedule

Boulder 5 …really isn’t my style.

One of the fundamental rules of professional writers is that they write regularly. They set aside a time and a place that they retreat to each day, and they devote the time to advancing their thoughts and their works.

I agree that finding rhythm to my writing can be as important as finding voice. Neither, however, can be imposed.

Writing is about content and connection, and that requires inspiration and reflection. I often scribble margin notes during the day, capturing stray thoughts that I want to return to. Sometimes they whither into insignificance as soon as they escape my mind, other times, they trigger a generative stream that demands time at the whiteboard to think things through. If, a day or two later, they feel well formed and potentially interesting (that is, they qualify as ‘cocktail chatter’), then I have the motivation to sit down and organize my thoughts for the blog.

Some people are good at shooting a spontaneous tweet every day, and NaBloPoMo promotes the simple virtue of daily scribbling (National Blog Posting Month: Post every day for a month; that’s all you have to do). But it’s just never going to be that way for me: content trumps schedule.


A Touch of Dutch said...

I have a curse of heartburn lately which keeps me from enjoying writing lately. Today is my first day in a long time sit behind the computer without giving up after an hour, and I've finally caught up on blog entries! I've had to go without coffee [fuel] for a while, which I've found to be a large help for writing as much as I do ;-)

Bob Zito said...

Wring on a daily schedule helps the brain pathways. Creative writing especially needs regular workouts to keep the words flowing. Once you open the pathways to you "inner mind" and experience deep writer's "Flow" it may become hard to stop writing and affect your sleep and dreaming. There is a good book on the topic called the "The Midnight Disease." I am one of the "afflicted." ;)

Dave Hampton said...

Bob, 'great to hear from you ! I hope that you are doing well.

Making regular entries on the blog has helped me to sort thoughts and expeeriences through, and I definately see the value. However, on days that I'm brain dead, I'd just rather not force (or inflict) it.

I agree with your attachment to flow states: I am at my creative-best in the mornings and my execution-best in the late afternoon (I think I'm hopeless at midnight, dreaming or not).

Dave Hampton said...

Coffee is definately a help: I am a 3-cup a day person in the first couple of morning hours to get the engine running. I did tea when I was young, but lived with a farm family for a summer and they quaff pots every morning before heading to the fields. I was hopelessly hooked by the time I left. I generally have to avoid it after 3 or I'll be up all night, though.

Bob Zito said...

I have never been a "blogger" but have always written short stories, essays and a couple of books. I have written a book on creative writing called "Writer's Block Vaporized, Creativity Maximized!" This project's goal was to use my logical brain to analyze my creative part during the process of creativity, while I wrote two other books. Then, once I understood my process, document it then try to see how to maximize it and make it more efficient. I was afraid at first that I would "lose the formula" and that the analytic process would destroy my creative process but it all worked out. I have several writer sites but my book site is:
Great to hear from you too!