I see this question come up a lot. In writing groups on Facebook, on Twitter. Writers ask how to find inspiration, or how to find the motivation to write, or what to do in cases when they can’t find either.
I take a bit of a different approach with my writing. As someone who writes the first (rough AF) draft very quickly, who dives into revisions ready to make the screen bleed red, I thought I’d share a bit of advice.
Schedule time to write.
BUT WE’RE CREATIVES!
YOU CAN’T SCHEDULE CREATIVITY!
Here’s the thing: you can, and you should, especially if you want to make writing, or any creative venture, your job.
When you work out of the home full or part time for a business, you’re expected to show up when you’re scheduled to work. You go to work, you punch in, you do your job, and you punch out. If most people only went to their day jobs when they felt inspired to, I would venture to guess that their position may not last long.
Maybe it’s my background with owning a photography business, or maybe it’s the fact that our lives our busy and order is key in chaos, but scheduling time has worked wonders for me. Of course, there are days where inspiration hits and writing wasn’t on the schedule, but I can’t wait around for those moments. If I did, I’d sit down to write once, maybe twice a month.
I also have a lot going on, generally. I homeschool my son, I do commissioned art, I travel, I work for my mom’s business during tax season, I run my son to co-ops and playdates and practices… you get the point. Having a schedule ensures that I get everything done, in a timely fashion, including writing.
BUT WHEN I FORCE IT, ITS NOT AS GOOD!
Awesome! That’s what editing is for. Seriously, just push to get things on the page, and you can always go back later to make it better.
Even if the words themselves don’t come right away, there are other things you can do during your scheduled writing time to further your story. You can brainstorm, world build, listen to music and imagine the scene to help spark something. As Victoria Schwab often says: There are typing days, and there are thinking days. Both are writing days.
(Or something pretty close to that, but you get the point.)
So I challenge you to schedule your writing time. Treat it like a job, especially if that’s what you want to come from your writing. Make goals, both big and small, and work towards them every day.
You’ve got this.
-Sarah A. Chase