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  • Writer's pictureA.K. Lee

Working on Writing

Recently I revisited an old writer's workbook. The Writer's Workout was something I'd bought back in around 2015, with the idea that I would use it to build my writing habit with a good foundation. Unfortunately, I am not a very disciplined person, so I have only got through fifteen days of the workout.

It struck me when I opened the book to the first exercise that, like every other writing book, I was advised to write a page every day, to keep the writing brain sharp. Every writer and creator I've spoken to or read about have similar advice: Keep at it. Make it a discipline to go to work, and work. I even have a pink Post-It note stuck over my webcam that says WRITE THE BOOK (privacy is important, folks - cover the webcam when not in use).

Now, is it possible to write a page every day? Yes, it is.

Is it possible to write a page of your current project every day? Perhaps, but not for me.

I have since found that it is impossible. I am quite stubborn by nature and did endeavor to do so, but what resulted from that was resentment and frustration. The words refused to come. Though I sat at my desk, obstinately tapping at my keyboard, the words that I needed just would not appear. Because of my misguided belief that I had to chip away at my WIP, I hated every single letter in the alphabet (with the exception of Z, simply because I hardly used it).

It came to a point where I had to stop working on my current project. I mean, if the second I opened the file, I could feel myself clenching my jaw and my shoulders tensing, it was likely unhealthy for me. I decided to write for fun again: I wrote journal entries (one page per entry, no longer); nonsense little fics to share with my friends on social media (about a page or so, and one of the fics got me a 'How Very Dare You' for breaking their hearts); I went back to worldbuilding for a different story. On reflection, I treat writing like gardening. While I cannot tend to the same plant every day, I can oversee my entire garden of different plants and love them all. (Some day I will write a blog post about my plants, once I have settled on a name for my surprise fern.)

I feel much better now about my WIP. There are still several chapters to go, but at least I don't hate working on it. I have set myself a deadline - I love setting myself deadlines because I actually do keep to them - and ideally, I do complete this WIP. Send me some encouraging messages on Twitter if you don't mind! (I'm @aklee_writes on that bird app) Anything along the lines of "You'll get chocolate if you finish a chapter" to "Bitch, what you doing on social media, get tf back to your WIP (said with love)" would be wonderful.

Alright, time to get cracking.

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