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I try to write every day, but that can be tough. I began 2014 sick with a stuffy head that barely let me think straight. How could I write under those conditions?
Life throws distractions at all of us and puts obstacles in our paths. Monumental obstacles like weddings and funerals and car accidents. Distractions like meetings and lunches. Necessities like kids, grandkids, and paying bills. Mundane chores like grocery shopping and laundry. These things give life balance. Without experiencing Life, how can I write about it? (If one of my characters develops a head cold, I am well-equipped to describe how it feels.)
Yet, I am a longtime proponent of writing every day. Do I manage it? Of course not, but I try.
That doesn’t mean I write chapters every day. Or even pages. Sometimes, not even a paragraph, but if I get down a sentence or two, I’m heading in the right direction.
My sentence or two might not be for my current Work In Progress. I might just jot down a few ideas for future stories. Or make a few notes about the weather that day, the way the sky looked, or the way the wintry air felt on my face. I don’t consider that a waste of my writing time. I might need weather descriptions some day for a story. I might need to write a winter scene on a hot August day, and it helps to be able to pull out those sentences and remind myself more clearly how winter felt.
Even when I have a day where I don’t write one word, I try to find what Joy Cowley calls “percolating time.” Every story, every character, every scene needs to percolate in my brain before it can make its way onto the page. Ideally, my percolating time is while taking a walk, but I can also grab a few minutes while in the shower or emptying the dishwasher. It might be a stretch to call this “writing,” but it’s definitely a necessary part of the process.
I continue to keep trying. Do you try to write every day? Do you have any tricks to help you to achieve this?