Monday, 21 October 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

One golden rule I always follow is write every day. Seriously. No excuses!
I'm not saying that you have to write a story that would put Stephen King to shame everyday but if you get yourself in the routine of sitting down everyday and thinking. "Right, I'm going to write now." then, soon enough, it will just come naturally.

Imagine that you're learning to play an instrument. You would make sure that you practiced the same piece of music or the same technique over and over again until you got it.

Now, I'm not naïve- not am I a saint. I know that there are days when you just can't be bothered to get the laptop or the notepad down and slog on whilst thinking of the nap you could be having, or the film you could be watching- trust me I know! But just think if you were to do the same with learning an instrument. You'd be less confident in what you were playing, you would make more mistakes and you'd get so frustrated over it all you'd begin to ask yourself what was the point?
Image courtesy of Google
So, here are my top tips to help you get into the habit of writing everyday:
  1. Don't be too harsh on yourself!Life can be hectic and often the things we try to plan for tend to get pushed back for later or forgotten all together. So, if you are really struggling to find the time to sit down and write than look at your daily routine and see if you can fit it in somewhere. Do you perhaps have some time while you're waiting for someone that you're giving a lift to? Or maybe when you're waiting for something to cook? Personally, if I want to jot something down I wait for my dinner break at work.
  2. CompromiseOK, so we all have bad days- we all have days where we don't particularly feel like writing. It doesn't make us terrible people or terrible writers, it just makes us human. When this happens, take a deep breath and be honest with yourself. Say for example you aim to write 1000 words a day (every one is different so don't panic if this sounds a lot!) but you really really can't bring yourself to do it, than say that you will only do 300 that day. You're still getting some writing done yet your not behaving like you must do it as some form of punishment.
    Obviously you can't do this every day, as it loses its purpose, but it is a helpful way to keep up the habit.
  3. Try different times of the dayEveryone has different ways of functioning and writing is no different. Some people find that they are most productive writing first thing in the morning while others find that it suits them to write before they go to sleep. The only way you can know which works best for you is to try and find which works best for you.
The main thing to remember is that you are writing for you. Yes, you have to consider whether an audience would understand what you are trying to say and yes, you have to consider whether your story makes sense but at the end of the day it is you that is taking the time to write and it is you who is sticking with it through thick and thin so enjoy it! Treat yourself to a biscuit as you type, have a comfy pair of slippers on as you write just don't forget who you're doing this for: You.