Sunday, March 8, 2009

Take a Day to Refill the Well

By our very nature, writers struggle with finding the time to write. Once time is available, the issue changes into what to write, how to write, is it any good or is it the latest skunk craze and well--you get the picture. Getting trapped in this cycle can drive anyone insane.

Someone once said, "You never reach the bottom items on your to-do-list, so put writing at the top." I could have saved hours at writing workshops if I'd only heard that line earlier. That sentence clicked with me, so now I put it at the top. And it does work. I take my Alphasmart Dana with me and write on my work lunch hours; I often stop at a coffeehouse on the way home and write more; and try to do at least 3-4 hours on weekend days.

Whether you're budgeting 10 minutes or 10 hours to write, it's also important to stop and refill the well once in awhile. Take an entire day to refill the well. I did this yesterday and not only was it enjoyable, but during a dinner conversation with a friend, I discovered a little tidbit I could put into my current work in progress. This couldn't have happened if I'd planned it; it was one of those mysterious things that just clicked at the right moment--and it's ideal. So the day was enjoyable, I met up with old friends I hadn't seen in awhile, and I got a tidbit for a story.

It's also important to get "out of one's element" and see things differently once in awhile. In a big city, this can mean going across town and discovering a few new places or spots; in a rural area, go out for a drive and find some new highways with horse farms.

Now it's time to return to that manuscript! Make time to refill the well - you'll be surprised at the gems you come across when you're not looking for them :)

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