Once I sit down and write a paragraph or so, ideas typically start flowing out of me. It’s rare that I start writing out of inspiration. Usually I’m only inspired if I’m mad. Maybe that’s less inspiration and more a need to vent… (I do try to cool down before I post anything. It doesn’t always work.)
There’s something about becoming disciplined about writing that not only helps to improve the quality, but also helps with creativity. I feel as though there are all these thoughts and memories all jumbled in my head, and I’m not always aware of their presence. They only come out when my fingers hit the keyboard.
Meg Cabot gave some of the most helpful writing advice in an interview. She said it was important to write every single day, even if it was just a grocery list. (I missed five days on this blog total this November, but I PROMISE I’ve been making lists). Madeleine L’Engle said something similar:
I have advice for people who want to write. I don’t care whether they’re 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader. It’s the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it’s for only half an hour — write, write, write.
Terry Goodkind, who has written like 13 book averaging 800 pages, writes at his computer for 14 hours a day nearly every day of the week! So if you don’t see me for a day or two, be sure to give me grief (although I’m switching to just one weekend post for the time being). If Gookind can do that, then there are just no excuses for me not being able to churn out a two-hundred and fifty word post…