Finding a writing schedule, routine, or creative process that works for you can be daunting. There is a ton of advice out there, some bad and some good, about how to do your best writing. I like to try new systems and methods, so I’ve tried a little bit of everything over the years. While most of the advice was fairly easy to ignore, or incorporate into my routine, there have been a couple of tips which I initially thought were benefiting me, but which inadvertently limited my writing:
#1. ‘Eating the frog’:
Many creative people tell you to ‘eat the frog’ in the morning, when you have your best energy. And while I do happen to have my best energy in the morning, I also get a little surge just before and after lunch. By telling myself that my ‘writing time’ was early in the morning, I limited myself to writing during that time, and only that time. While this advice has helped me to get a lot accomplished in the morning, I limited myself by thinking that once I’d done my writing for the day, I was finished. I have since discovered that I need to use as much of my potential writing time as possible during the day, and not limit myself to just that morning ‘frog’ time.
#2. Word count:
I’m sure that having a word count works beautifully for some writers, but I have found this to actually be a limiting factor for my writing. Instead, setting writing time goals, seems to work best for me. I dedicate, at the very least, an hour for writing each day. But I also have a few additional slots of free time, on certain days, during which I can also write. Within my hour-long time frames, I follow the pomodoro method, and I’ve found that to be very helpful to hone my focus, and help me to make the best use of my time. When I focus on writing time instead of stressing out about meeting a certain number of words, I find that I am considerably more prolific.
#3. Using ideas immediately:
This might sound like an insane point, but I’ve written about it before. Whenever I have a good idea, or even the faintest glimmer of a good idea, I write it down. I’ve read advice from a few authors, and creative thinkers who encourage creatives to use all of your ideas immediately, because you can always have another idea later. While I think there is some truth to that, I have also found that using an idea immediately sometimes means that I haven’t used that idea in the best way possible. For example, I wrote a scene into my Elden Forest Series novel, Magician’s Mirrors, that in retrospect, would have worked much better in a YA Steampunk series I’m currently working on. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and all, but still, I’ve come to realize that some ideas need to marinate, and wait for the right circumstances to be used properly.
How have you inadvertently limited your writing? Tell me in the comments below!
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