Creativity,  Fiction,  The Writing Life,  Writing prompts

The Writing Habit

“There’s this word in Japanese: tsundoku,” Neil says suddenly. “It’s my favorite word in any language.”

“What does it mean?”

He grins. “It means acquiring more books than you could ever realistically read.”

Today, Tonight, Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

My plan for Writing in the Spaces, for 2021, is to “write something” every day. I’m taking the advice of James Clear, from his book “Atomic Habits. Instead of setting a particular amount of time or a particular number of pages, I’m simply insisting that I write EVERY day. For me, this means writing fiction every day. Journalling, preparing presentations and writing a blog-blurb, do not count. Those are the rules I have set out for myself. Other than my “fiction” rule, I can write for as little or as much time as I want. The idea being that it is crucial to get the habit solidly in place before adding other expectations. I like this idea because it promises a greater return for the long game. Instead of starting out with a blast that quickly fizzles, I will keep plodding along on my new manuscript even as I work hard to prepare for other events. Something every day adds up to something. A scene a day, or part of a scene a day, may not equal a novel, but when my virtual events are over and I get back to focusing on my novel writing, I will have a lot of material available. And that is never a bad thing.

Famous Authors on The Writing Routine

Writing skills might vary with each individual, but the most successful among them all have one thing in common: they made time to write. Master Class article, November 6, 2020.

Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Ray Bradbury

I used to tell interviewers that I wrote every day except for Christmas, the Fourth of July, and my birthday. That was a lie. I told them that because if you agree to an interview you have to say something, and it plays better if it’s something at least half-clever. Also, I didn’t want to sound like a workaholic dweeb (just a workaholic, I guess). The truth is that when I’m writing, I write every day, workaholic dweeb or not. That includes Christmas, the Fourth, and my birthday (at my age you try to ignore your goddam birthday anyway). And when I’m not working, I’m not working at all, although during those periods of full stop I usually feel at loose ends with myself and have trouble sleeping. For me, not working is the real work. Stephen King

When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. Ernest Hemmingway

Write whenever it works best for you. If it is possible, early in the morning is the best for creativity. Save the e-mails and other jobs until later in the day.

Writing Prompts

  • Imagine a fictitious place that has everything you could possibly want. Think more desires of your soul, less materialistic. Describe the setting. Who else is there? What makes this place so special?
  • Someone has invited you to a special/prestigious retreat or conference as the guest speaker. You are honoured to attend and passionate about your message. Write about your topic of expertise, the clothes you will wear, the environment, the people to whom you will speak. Write about your feelings about being chosen to speak. Your expertise can be real or imagined.
  • An overheard conversation.

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