Wednesday, March 4, 2015

IWSG: Every Day Writing without "Guilt"


Many thanks to Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh and his co-hosts Chemist Ken, Suzanne Sapseed, and Shannon Lawrence for making this hop great!

This month, I decided to talk about how I tackle "guilt" type insecurity if I don't make my daily word goal as an every day writer.

1. If I have a bad day, I give myself grace. My minimum word count goes from 1,000 words to one paragraph of "whatever" writing in my journal. My journal has lists of things to do, sermon notes, "I don't know what to write today" entries, and even writerly stuff like story starts, poems, and reflections.

2. I keep the "never a day without a line" quote in the back of my head. Sure, the guy who originally said this was an artist and he meant "drawing lines," but if I'm really have a incredibly busy, crazy, or exceptionally bad day - then, writing a line is the minimum.

3. I celebrate the "just keep swimming" days. These days might feel like "the writing went nowhere" days, but they count.

How do you keep swimming/writing/building your dream?

Another way to write every day is to join the April A to Z Challenge!


If you do, you can hang out with some really cool bloggers, including the Muffin Commandos, a team under the leadership of C. Lee Mckenzie: Yvonne Ventresca, Carrie Butler, Donna McDine , Patricia Lynne, Elizabeth Seckman, Tara Tyler, Tammy Theriault, and me.



And, if you haven't seen it yet, I have a new book out: A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts (ebook), and A Pocket-Sized Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts (paperback). The ebook edition is 99cents in the hopes that it will be a helpful tool for every day writers.

62 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If blog comments count, then I'm writing something every day.

Chemist Ken said...

I try to do something for my story every day, even if it's only as simple as deciding upon names for my characters. I figure if I do something every day, then eventually I'll reach the end.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yes, you definitely are!

Tyrean Martinson said...

I agree! I think that just continuing to move forward helps. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I try to remember the joy I had when I first started.

Nick Wilford said...

I'd seen that line in your header, but now I'm going to remember it! It's a good one. Who said it?

cleemckenzie said...

I love, "Never a day without a line." That's perfect. Thanks for giving the Muffins a shout, too! Great team we have.

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

If no words are forthcoming from my Muse, I'll just read my WIP instead, and that will usually spark some ideas. Looking forward to A to Z!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Just keep moving forward is good advice Tyrean. The Muffin Commandos look pretty formidable...

Tyrean Martinson said...

That's a great way to stay motivated - remember the joy!

Hart Johnson said...

I have trouble because NORMALLY I am good. I write daily because I LIKE TO so I don't have any rules or strategies for making it happen. That means when I get into a funk I really have to scramble to get back to it... events help. I'm doing March Madness this month and it is finally pulling me out of a two month slump.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Well, I'm tempted to just say . . ."an old dead dude" because I just watched Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure recently, but in reality it's attributed to a Greek artist named Apelles who was quoted by Pliny the Elder (Roman, I think). The original is: "nulla dies sine lina."

Tyrean Martinson said...

We do have a great team!

Carol Riggs said...

I love the "just keep swimming" advice! I never do anything by word count, because sometimes I'm restructuring and planning out more detailed plot points, and on those days I don't write as much. And musing about story and characters while driving or waiting in the doctor's office counts as "writing" too! All necessary activity. :) Even a total break from writing for a day or 2 or few is a good idea sometime, to freshen up your writerly outlook. Good luck!

Tyrean Martinson said...

That works for me sometimes, unless I'm having a super insecure day with my monstrous inner editor present . . . then, reading my WIP backfires.

Tyrean Martinson said...

:) I think the Muffin Commandos are pretty formidable in a squishy way. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yes, events definitely help.

Tyrean Martinson said...

That's true - some parts of story writing don't create big word counts. And, I love being able to "muse" while waiting places, too.

Diane Burton said...

I've been so fortunate that my Muse is sitting on my shoulder lately. My WIP is going great. It hasn't always been that way so I celebrate when it is. Best wishes!

SA Larsenッ said...

Your journal sounds pretty interesting. I so agree with the notion that the keep swimming days count. They really do.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

This is a great reminder, Tyrean, to be kind to ourselves as we grow and learn and move closer and closer to our dreams and goals. :)

L.G. Smith said...

Just keep swimming is probably the best advice any writer can use. Some days a paragraph is all that's gonna get done, but it'll do. It's all forward motion. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

I love Alex's answer. That's me these days.

Dee Connell said...

I really love that motto, never a day without a line, and I'll try to live by it this year.

Charity Bradford said...

An Anne quote keeps me going when I goof up. "Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it." Or something like that. Life happens, and that's good because it gives us something to write about. When I don't get to write I just tell myself tomorrow's a new day.

Stephen Tremp said...

I'm always writing something. It's part of my CDO. I just can't stop.

Jenni Enzor said...

I love #1. It's so important to give yourself grace. One thing that helps me is just telling myself that I'll look at my manuscript every day. So, if I'm really tired or having a bad day in general, I consider rereading something I wrote the day before to count.

Lynda R Young said...

Giving ourselves grace really does help. We can put so much unnecessary pressure on ourselves sometimes.

Tyrean Martinson said...

That's great, Diane!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yes, they do. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Glad you think so, Madeline. I think a little kindness helps.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yes, it is!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Sometimes comments are all we can get in, but I think they still count for practice. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Dee!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yes, I like that Anne quote, too!

Tyrean Martinson said...

It helps to keep moving.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I like that, Jenni -that's a great way to keep a project moving forward!

Tyrean Martinson said...

So very true. :)

Liz Blocker said...

Really good advice, and I try to give it to myself, too. I know that being hard on myself and getting angry at myself will NOT make the writing go better. The opposite is usually true, And yet I do like to keep doing it...sigh.

Emma Adams said...

I love the "just keep swimming" line. Every word is progress! :)

Tanya Miranda said...

I'm with Alex. Blog comment count! I've written my line for the day!

:-)

<>

Shannon Lawrence said...

I love the idea of requiring a line or a paragraph in the journal if it's a rough day. I put a lot of pressure on myself, and something like this is simple and keeps the habit of writing each day.

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Excellent post. Great ideas! Thank you.

Fundy Blue said...

I love that "line a day" goal, Tyrean! Surely no day is so bad that I can't write one line! Happy writing to you!

DL Hammons said...

I'm like Alex...if you count blogging then I'm writing everyday. I'm more of a spurt writer...more out of necessity because of my day job...but I do something involved with writing everyday! :)

Mary Aalgaard said...

A line a day. I like that. I write just about ever day. This year, I started a sketching journal. I'm not much of a visual artist, but I like the creative flow.
Play off the Page

Karen Lange said...

These are great tips! I often beat myself up for not getting enough writing done. Some days are more challenging than others in that respect. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

Patricia Lynne said...

Hello Fellow Muffin Squaddie!
I like the just one line tip. I should give it a shot one days when writing is tough for me. Thanks.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Sometimes a line just keeps the momentum going just enough and kills the self-guilt trip.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Glad you liked it, Dixie!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Very true! Happy Writing to you too!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yes, every word counts!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yeah, I've been there. Let's make a new habit!

Tyrean Martinson said...

You're welcome, Karen!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Glad you liked it, and hello fellow muffin!

Tyrean Martinson said...

That sounds like fun . . . even if my sketches are stick figure types.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I think that counts, DL!

Lexa Cain said...

Sometimes my muse just isn't ready to spit out a new chapter or even a paragraph of one. On those days I critique for my CPs or do research on my current WIP or others I've thought up or wander around and comment on blogs. I sometimes go through 3-4 days without writing on my WIP, but I'm always thinking about and planning it, so to me, that counts. :)

Michelle Wallace said...

From January, I started writing a haiku a day.
I've been using some of the prompts from your Jumble Of 500+ Writing Prompts, for my haiku writing.
It's a great way of nurturing an everyday writing habit...

Cherie Reich said...

I love that quote, even if it was about drawing instead of writing. It still applies. I need to get back to writing more (beyond blog comments/emails/posts).

Lanise Brown said...

Those are some great word goal ideas, Tyrean. I try to write something everyday, whether it's an email, post, paragraph or a page of my story. It really helps to be in the practice of writing often. :)