This past couple of weeks, I have mainly been distracted from writing scowling at swirling snow shenanigans.
Not, of course, that my disapproval makes any difference. I do realise that; I just can't quite help myself. There are moments when I can appreciate the wonder that is our weather and respect the fact of IT taking charge but mostly I get frustrated that it gets in the way of plans I've made.
One plan I have stuck to, however, is my newly-established daily writing routine following the advice from Dorothea Brande's book which I mentioned in my previous post. Reader, it works! Writing everyday, FIRST THING everyday has improved my writing stamina and, I am pleased to report, I am finding that I am not only able to write more but what I am writing is occasionally more interesting too.
Brande's advice is that it is absolutely critical for the aspiring writer to invest in themselves and how they feel about writing and not just invest time in studying the technicalities of the craft of writing. In fact, too much attention to the technicalities of the craft of writing can, in the early stages, prohibit the capacity of the writer to write anything. (VERY) Basically, the technicalities of the craft of writing are developed in our 'conscious writing brain' - this is where stories are crafted BUT we need to nurture our 'unconscious brain' which is where the stories start. If we jump too quickly into the conscious crafting we allow our self-editor to dominate too quickly and, all too often, before our unconscious creative brain has even had the chance to get-going.
Have you ever had an idea for a story that was absolutely BRILLIANT in your head but completely impossible to write down? I've been struggling with this for the past few years! It's a clear sign that you need to clear space for your creative unconscious to become liberated. Writing every morning is the very starting point; liberating the unconscious before the conscious (and often hyper-critical) wakes up.
|The morning writing routine: the gateway to creative success?|
Brande says that whilst you're establishing this early morning writing routine, you shouldn't read over what's been written. I have had a brief scan back at mine. Much of it is absolute rubbish! Less interesting to read than a timetable suspended due to adverse weather conditions, sadder than a pair of theatre tickets doomed to be unused because you can't get off your drive (have I mentioned my frustrations with snow?!). However, I do know that I am able to write more during these 30 minute sessions and I also know that it has an impact on how I feel about myself for the rest of the day.
Starting my day writing reminds me that writing is what I want to do. In doing the morning write, it feels like my unconscious creative brain gains some confidence and this confidence continues throughout the day where my newly liberated unconscious feels free to heckle out all kinds of ideas - not all of them completely crazy and/or libellous.
The next step, following Brande's instruction (and why wouldn't you?) is to train yourself to write at a given moment. The plan goes like this:
- continue with the daily morning writing
- at the end of the morning session (after a pat on the back for sticking to it and recognising how much better you're getting!) review your plans for the coming day
- identify a SPECIFIC time that day when you WILL sit down for another 20-30 minutes and write
- importantly, this daily 'scheduled write' should be at different times on different days
- the aim is to train yourself to be able to write NOW
- Brande stresses how STRICT you have to be with this
- No excuses, once you've promised yourself it's what you are going to do you need to get on and DO IT!
I'm going to be giving this a shot over the next couple of weeks and whatever the weather I will let you know how I get on.