Just Like Tea

Every writer has an opinion on how to write, and many who never put pen to paper to create stories have a few things to say as well.  The most common theme shared again and again is that you must write all the time, even if you don’t feel like it.  Well, I’m here today to share my own opinion, which is to let your ideas percolate.

Very few people in this world are ever blessed with the opportunity to let their passion for the written word dictate their life.  Most of us have a plethora of ideas swirling around, but we must find time around the mundane world, to steal a phrase from the Society for Creative Anachronism.  For those of us who write when we can, the ideas don’t stop coming just because we work.  They come to us at work, on the drive home, or even just before we fall asleep.  If we wrote every time an idea came to us we’d possibly lose our jobs, drive off the road, never sleep, or all of the above.  Now, I hate any sort of didactic statement.  If writing a little bit every day works for you, write a little bit every day!  I just want to put out the idea that sometimes writing can be like making a cup of tea.

For those participating in NaNoWriMo, you might have noticed that there is a badge if you manage to write for five days in a row.  I’m a highly competitive person.  Just last night, when I found someone in my region was beating me on the word count – something I was no accustomed to – I set about to go from roughly 3000 words to 10,000.  I came up with a rush of 7000 words last night, but that sort of explosion would not have been possible if I hadn’t let the ideas of the day before seep.  Again, the competitive spirit means that I did put a few words into my story Monday night, but even I knew I was cheating a bit.  They were necessary words, and a scrap of conversation that would lead to a chapter, but I wasn’t writing to create, I was writing to simply write.  However, I knew well enough that the trick was to let those few words set for a day.  Sure enough, as I was falling asleep that night, it came to me – how I needed to move the story forward.  For once, I was able to have a light bulb moment and go back to sleep.  But if i had continued to force the story from where it was, I would never have known just where I needed to go.  

So my one small conclusion is for those of you out there who find that writing everyday sometimes just feels a little bit wrong. That’s okay too!  If the story feels forced, it will be forced.  Instead, think about it for a night.  Feel around like looking for a sore tooth.  What is wrong and what is right in a story will come to you, but it cannot always be forced.  For what it is worth, I support you fully if you decide not to write today.  But don’t let your ideas die or wander off.  Keep them close, and they will become the perfect cup of tea.

Until next time…

Published by L.E. Gibler

Writer, rider, and future crazy cat lady

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