The start of a new year always comes with an abundance of blog posts. This being The Great Noveling Adventure, this post is focusing specifically on those that talk about writing. Especially those that talk about ways to write (aka writing habits).
The blogosphere is full of posts about how to write well, efficiently, and without needing to edit, all while balancing a full-time job and three kids. A lot of them offer great advice. A lot of them contradict each other. It can be pretty confusing.
Here’s the thing:
Writers write lots of different ways. What works for one may not work for another.
Some sit down at their laptops first thing in the morning and write for five hours straight. Others scrawl for ten minutes a day in a notebook. Some people write on the bus and on their lunch breaks. Some people write full time. Some people do one, but wish they could do the other. Some people do neither.
And guess what? They’re all writers. None of them are better or worse than each other, at least not in terms of the ways in which they choose to write.
(Assuming they’re not plagiarizing or doing something else illegal and/or immoral. That makes them worse. Much worse.)
Getting up at 5AM to write for two hours may work for you. If it does, great! It doesn’t for me. I feel ill when I get up that early, and the ‘writer’ part of my brain takes longer to wake up than the rest of me.
NaNoWriMo may work for you. It used to for me. It doesn’t any more – I get really stressed out, and most of what I write ends up getting scrapped.
Word sprints and write-ins may work for you. They don’t for me. I get very self-conscious doing any kind of creating (writing, sketching, etc.) in front of other people.
What does work for me? Achievable daily word targets. Victoria Schwab’s sticker method. Sensible deadlines. Long-term planning. Intensive outlines (from which I am allowed to deviate!). Working on multiple projects at once.
Some of these things work for other people. Some don’t.
Everyone has their own process, including you. So read those blog posts, get some ideas, and try new ways of writing. Keep doing them if they work. Don’t if they don’t. You don’t need to write from midnight to dawn to be the next Kerouac.
Just do what works for you.