“Habits are safer than rules; you don’t have to watch them. And you don’t have to keep them either. They keep you.”
― Frank Crane
That’s the truth. Anyone who has been writing for a long time, and hopefully some of those writing for a short time know this to be true. There are no real rules.
Well, maybe a few. In Romance, you always get a happily ever after, and when you don’t get that, you get a happy for now ending. NB, Nicolas Sparks doesn’t write romance. He does write wonderfully compelling stories about love and redemption, but those stories are technically not romance.
There are a host of ways to produce the story which will provide a satisfying “Happily Ever After” but that’s not what we’re talking about today.
Today we are going to talk about the writing habit.
This is a double up opportunity for me to tell you i don’t believe in writers block. I have never heard of any other profession which claims to have a “block”. No surgeons block, no plumbers block, no salesman’s block, or any other profession.
I do believe in laziness, not wanting to do your job today, needing to take a holiday, needing a mental health day, and finally “I’m just not going to do that today”.
I also believe you should write according to a schedule of you own devising, which after some thought a planning tells you how much you can writer and how often. For example, when you still go to a “day job” that presumable pays the bills, you need to schedule not only “write time”, but down time. I’m pretty sure you all know what down time is; time to do what you want or need, to rejuvenate, recharge and rebuild strength.
Make sure you order your life to allow for a reasonable amount of time to pursue your writing dreams. When I still had to go to the “day Job”, I was much more productive. Because my time was scheduled, and I knew if I wanted to accomplish my writing goals, I had to stick to a schedule. The schedule can be whatever works for you–let me repeat–what works for you.
You can schedule as little as 100 words per day, or as much as a single chapter, upwards of 5,000 words or much more. Do what works for you. I also would schedule the “down time” to maintain the balance. I do not write on the weekends even today, unless I miss a weekday writing goal.
Join a group. Others will keep you honest, and on task, if you all have the same commitment to writing. The group can be a professional one, or an local amateur group. Accountability is what you’re looking for, because most of us don’t bother to keep the promises we make to ourselves, but that’s another story for another day.