I do believe in trusting my instincts when it comes to the writing game. In the last blog I talked about my own personal pattern for writing, and trusting when to get the most out of my creative streaks.
I think the reverse is true as well. I am not a believer in forcing the process. If I sit down at the keyboard and am really “not feeling it” I don’t force myself to write. The few times I’ve tried, I either ended up revamping or even going back and changing the pages because it didn’t fit my story line.
And I want to be clear that I am not pushing for only writing when you feel like it. I stand by the statement that writing is like exercising: when you first start, it’s hard and you don’t have a lot of strength or stamina. However, after getting into a regular pattern and writing on a regular basis, you build those writing “muscles.” Over time it gets easier and you write for longer periods and turn out better material because you do it regularly.
I take breaks, but writing is a regular part of my life. It’s something I need to do anyway, but it’s also something I want to do. It’s important to keep honing my skills, whether it’s writing, editing or story building. Last night I sat down to do some editing because I am between stories right now and I just couldn’t get into it. I tried a few paragraphs and found myself rereading the same sentences over because I just couldn’t get going. So I closed the story and walked away. I did other things for the rest of the evening.
However, I’ll hit it again tonight and I’m guessing it will be easier and I’ll actually get some work done. Partly because the breaks let you re-energize, but also because you have to give yourself room to let your creative ideas and instincts work on their own. You don’t go to work when you’re physically sick and the same applies to the creative process of writing: you don’t write when your creatively exhausted.
Push yourself, but trust your instincts.