My new writing rules

Posted: 13 January, 2012 in motivation, writing

After a particularly unproductive writing day yesterday I realised I’ve got to get some rules laid down for myself now that I am living a little more leisurely than when I was a nine-to-fiver.

After talking to a friend about the problems I had yesterday she reminded me of a very important aspect of any workday that I had forgotten about – ROUTINE.  I need a routine. I am someone who works well to a routine and not very well without one. Routine signifies regularity, a schedule, and that’s important to every writer, especially one like me who is a pathological procrastinator.

My second rule is READING. I get so inspired when I read writing magazines, my Winning Ways newsletter, or any one of the writing  books I turn to repeatedly for inspiration. I’ve even read through my old journals and notebooks to get inspiration. It’s important that I schedule some time every day to read something that inspires me.

My final rule is giving myself permission to RAMBLE. This comes from Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way” in which she recommends writing at least three pages of Morning Pages every day. She said some of the best creative work gets done on the days when you feel that everything you’re doing is rubbish and scribbling for three pages is the perfect way to work through that. Even if you’re just writing “I have nothing to write” over and over again, it helps to ramble. And out of this rubble will come something you can use, or at least something that inspires you to keep going.  It doesn’t have to be rational or grammatically correct, it can be negative and critical, it can even be (gasp!) politically incorrect.  Morning Pages are not meant to be perfect, they’re not meant to be seen or read by anyone but you, they’re meant only to get you writing and keep you motivated to do more.

So now, with rules established and a routine organised, I’m a step closer to a more productive day, and many more ahead.

  1. awarewriter says:

    Writing morning pages can be habit forming. I did them religiously for a few years but stopped for some reason. Maybe I’ll begin the habit again. Actually I substituted writing in my so called electronic journal instead. I touch type without looking so I don’t have to worry about illegible handwriting. I use my AlphaSmart Neo instead of turning on the distraction machine on my desk.


    • RickyB says:

      I love my Neo! I bought it years ago for just that reason – the benefits of a keyboard without the distraction of the computer. I also love that it’s “instant on” so I don’t have to wait for it to start up and I can start writing right away. Probably my best buy for my writing. I’d definitely recommend getting back into the morning pages. I’m finding them so helpful.

      • awarewriter says:

        Yay! A fellow Neo fanatic. I was all set to begin morning pages again this morning on Neo when I decided to uncap my fountain pen and write them out longhand. Thanks for the nudge.


  2. anthonymagro says:

    I’ve made a real focus on creating routine. I went though a period last year where i had little to no routine and it killed my groove. It’s great you have created rules for your writing.

  3. […] 500 words into today’s writing before I realised I was rambling. Anyone familiar with my Rules of Writing will know I have nothing against rambling. At least while I’m rambling it means I’m […]

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