However much we may want to write, there are times it just isn’t happening. And this can make us feel like a failure as the popular view is that writers work feverishly into the wee hours. Even with the best story in the world, this rarely happens.
But writing is much more than words on paper. That’s just the end result. If you’re not writing, then don’t feel guilty. Here are five ways you can still be “writing”.
You’re thinking about your WiP aren’t you? Well then you’re writing. Writing takes a huge amount of cognitive effort, so don’t underestimate the importance of just thinking. Even if you’ve planned everything out, you’ll continue to ruminate. You’ll think about scenes and dialogue, and that perfect turn of phrase. Thinking is arguably the most important part of writing.
All writers are kind of nosy. Whether we admit to it or not, what we see and hear feeds into our work. I’m not suggesting you earwig on every conversation, but don’t be afraid to remake what you observe. Just be careful about including actual people you know!
I’m sure you’ve heard this before – if you want to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader. Most writers are bookworms anyway. It’s how we grew to love words, so asking us to read more shouldn’t be tricky. But it can be hard to find time for it. And we can all be guilty of only reading our favourite genre or sticking to a tried and tested author. But it’s worth pushing out of your comfort zone every now and then. If you like horror, try a romance. Crime your thing? Pick up a sci-fi. You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t – it all helps you build your writing skills.
Whether it be face to face in a writing group, or online in a writing forum, or on social media, talking with other writers can be very worthwhile. You can get support, advice and even make some friends.
Writing doesn’t need to be the only way you get creative. Getting creative in other ways stimulates your imagination, and unconsciously even, feeds back into your work. This could be anything, from drawing to cooking, crafting or belting out a few tunes.
So the next time you find yourself feeling guilty you haven’t written for a while, give yourself a break. You’re probably doing more ‘writing’ than you think!
What else do you think of as writing? Let me know in the comments.
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Want to know what I write? Find out more about my books