Recently I got the chance to sit down with some aspiring writers and literally talk about the craft that I love. While the discussions was both on and out of topic during the two-hour session is was incredible getting to share with them the triumphs and pitfalls that have strengthened my own writing career.
I first started writing at the ripe old age of 14 and haven't been able to stop since. Most of the tricks that I learned at first were ways to how to prevent writers block, keeping a story compelling and together, and even how to craft narration / dialogue that didn't leave a reader picking or gasping for air. However, through all the tricks that I literally field tested I wonder how much of that I could help these young writers with during their own writing time. For myself it was easy to listen to what an experienced author said, but much harder to implement in my own daily routine.
A routine. That is what all writers need. By routine, I don't mean that you sit down and hash out a plan on a calendar or on a notepad that outlines everything you are going to do. What I mean by routine is that a writer must allow themselves time for both inspiration and good ole’ fashioned perseverance in order to meet deadlines or goals. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I have set aside an hour at night for the opportunity to write. Whether or not I take the time to write is entirely up to what I am doing, where I am, or how my head is feeling. There are some weeks where I may not write anything towards my book at all, but usually I am letting the pot simmer (research gathering). The incentive to write doesn't always come at the same time, but I budget time for it so that I can meet whatever goal I set.
Though as I sat at the table and talked with those young writers I started to feel that I had let my own writing career take a backseat to everything else that I had been trying to achieve. One goal I had while I was still in college was to teach writing and encourage others to take charge with what dreams they had for their own writing. On the plus side it would have allowed me to do two things I enjoy: write and teach.
Well, back to the grind. I hear an unfinished book calling my name.