30 April 2012

Letting It Ride

There are a good number of writers who advocate writing every day. I'm not one of them.

Don't get me wrong, it's good discipline. And I do write every day--just not on my Works In Progress (WIP).

My morning routine consists of making sure I have coffee first. It's vital, else I am a raging bitch. Sorry, there's no other word for my attitude without my cuppa java. Then I wake my computer and check emails--and start writing: replies, blog posts, Facebook replies/comments, Tweets (gotta keep your name out there to market), and comments on other authors' blogs. Since I'm still working at my day job, I also have to write reports, records, summaries, and explanations as necessary.

When do I find time to work on WIPs? For me, the best time is at night. Once all my obligations are filled and no one is demanding my attention, then I can dive into a world I'm trying to concoct. Sometimes it's fairly early, just after supper. Most of the time it's between nine and midnight. When I'm really on a roll I may not stop until two or three in the morning. I love those times, when the words just rush out and paint the scene like a magical watercolor.

Yet I can't force those episodes to occur. For me, ideas need to ferment or bake in the brain for a time before they emerge. I think about a storyline for quite a while before I try to write it, imagining all sorts of "what if" scenarios my characters might encounter. I've also found that physical activity boosts the process. Whether the increase in endorphins or energy level increases the baking temperature, or adds yeasty enzymes to the idea brew, or simply fires the imagination, it's time to get off the butt and take the cat for a drag...

So letting it ride, letting ideas rest while you get out and walk, or hike, or even dig up the back yard can stimulate your writing to flow. At least that's how it works for me.


  1. I need my glass of warm lemon, ginger and honey to get me started, then my first cup of hot tea with breakfast! Whatever you're doing it's obviously working, Jude, since you're producing those words while still working.

  2. You know, that sounds rather tasty! Do you use candied ginger, the grated fresh root, or dried/powdered? Ginger is so good for you...