On the topic of writing habits

I’ve been reflecting a bit about my current output in terms of how many words per day that I actually produce. Now, I’ve had a good couple of days this week for no specific reason – it’s just one of those times when things flow nicely. Furhtermore, I’ve also visited some old material which I thought I’d harvest ideas from. When I did this I noticed that while the words seemed to come out at a very quick pace and without forcing them out they offered me little in terms of personal satisfaction. I found what I wrote wanting and too much of a rehash of the old material instead of mining the core idea like I had intended. I know, I know! Kill your darlings.

Perhaps part of the reason for this lies within the fact that with certain things I tend to have a very solid memory. I do not have photographic memory or anything of the sort, just a damned good one when it comes to things I actually like paying attention to i.e. engaging stories or documentaries and the like (trivia is a guilty pleasure of mine) – coincidentally, this is why I rarely watch or read anything more than once. Most people who read actively will experience this I believe, a certain amount of time has to pass so that enough of the plot is forgotten to make it engaging. I realise that I digress but I’ll just mention one more thing before I move on. Sometimes there are factors that override the abovementioned and allow me to enjoy a reread or a re-watching of something and that’s something I’m going to explore further in another post at a later time.

For being an INFP I can be uncharacteristically organised and structured, which I believe is very benefitial for me when it comes to increasing my daily output. The department in which I am lacking, however, is oddly closely related. I tend not to be as diligent as I would like to be. For me, writing, or any other creative outlet for that matter, tends to come in spontaneous bursts. Recently, for example, I had a two day period where I cranked out 5.000 words with surprising ease and little to no strain. Whether or not it was quality writing I’m not sure, but that’s why editing is important, right?

I am looking to strike a balance between the spontaneous creative outbursts and the steady less inspired day-to-day pace. If I can even the two out I think I’ll benefit more from it in the long haul. At the same time, I also think it is important to set realistic goals for myslef. It is unreasonable for me to expect a daily 5k and telling myself that I can do it might goad the spontaneous rebellious side in me to accept that kind of dare, but the more levelheaded version of myself says I should lower the bar. At the end of the day, it is probably best to set flexible goals – assess the peice of writing I’m currently working on and based on that set a realistic but at the same time ambitious goal. Perhaps I should also enforce a bare minimum, but I suppose we’ll see how it goes.

What do you guys do to crank out the words? Do you have any habits that get your creative energies flowing?


About Fredrik Kayser

Everything is connected.
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2 Responses to On the topic of writing habits

  1. Fredrik Kayser says:

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Diana. Yes, those are indeed a very good habits. I always carry around a notebook that fits easily in my coat pocket. Reading is especially useful when wrestling with stubborn sentences, hehe. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. During the day I write down ideas, I try to capture thoughts and when I sit down to write at night, I have something to write about. I must admit, the words may still not flow, so sometimes I pick up a book and read before I go back to the page to write.

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