June Writing Tip 2: Develop a Writing Routine

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Thomas Edison

Maybe most of you have already seen or heard this quote. And yet, the idea of the lonely, toiling writer persists, which is not to say that writing is either hard or easy work, but instead that it takes concerted effort. After all, writing consists of writing and re-writing. Until, what you want to say, comes out right. So why not create a habitual routine? Why not, find a way to get better incrementally? How? some of you might ask. Well, the method is clear. Develop a writing routine and do your best to stick with it.

ImageFor some, the idea may seem stifling, or even restrictive. How do I know? you ask. Well, more specifically, I’ve been there. Done that. Busy staring at a piece of paper, waiting for inspiration. Or the muse to strike. Some days it came. She came. Placing something that seemed like a grand idea inside my head. Something that would get me going hop-pity skip, along a merry trail. Other times, she remained absent. Looking back now, I can recall those ideas that were carried through to completion, while others died on the page, suffering either from a lack of clarity or overkill, where I tried to make the story do what I wanted it to do, rather than listening to what the characters had to say.

The beauty though would be those that would bear new fruit. Those that in going over, would lead me to another more skilled creation. Looking back now, I can see that in my own infancy stage as a writer that one of the most important things that I lacked was a regular writing routine. Truthfully, I would wait for the story. Or come up with some brilliant title and then try to write around it. Not that there is anything wrong with either approach, because sometimes an idea might come in stages and other times it might be the whole. But take time, write it down. Get yourself accustomed to some sort of rhythm when you create. Say you grab a beer or a cup of black coffee and then settle down to write. Say, for an hour or two, between five to seven, after you’ve come home from work. Or if you do this full time, say writing  early in the morning and editing in the afternoon.

iwriter magesEither way, let your schedule be something you create for yourself, rather than something that is imposed on you. Put aside a block of time each day, only for writing. And when that time comes, you do nothing but work. Write. Even if at the end of it you only get down one good line. A paragraph or a page. Work all the time you work. Write all the time you write. And keep it. Even if the words don’t jive with you afterwards. In a week or two, something in it may seem salvageable. Or be exactly what you were aiming for.

And finally, try your best not to think of this block of time as regimented work. Free your mind. Allow yourself to be creative. To write without qualms. Yes, open yourself up to seeing things differently. With fresh eyes. Eventually the right words will come, with or without your help and you will learn that being a more disciplined writer is about allowing yourself the freedom to create.

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So, until next Monday! Keep reading, writing and posting!

Meet My Main Character : Blog Tour

First off, let me just say, thank you to Mike for asking me to be a part of this unique group of writers; and for allowing us to be a part of this fantastic blog tour. Much appreciated. I’m also a great fan of your work (and even though I might be a few months early), congrats on Eye-Dancers turning two. Like you, I am also grateful for being a part of this WordPress Community. Without it, I wouldn’t have progressed so quickly.

And thanks, by extension, to Sherri for coming up with such a brilliant idea. Without you I wouldn’t have been able to hear about the work of all these wonderful writers whose pieces, I am looking forward to reading, along with your own. Check out Mike on his blog and Sherri on her blog. Also be sure to look out for Teagan Geneviene’s post next week and that of Jennifer K. Marsh and Joanne Blakie, in the subsequent weeks. So now, onwards to my main character.

For this Blog Tour, I’ll be answering a few questions about my main character (from a work in-progress). If you’ve been following Today, You Will Write, since last December, you will be familiar with the antics of Brandi Daniels and part one of The Way of the Seer. And although a few people have asked about a second installment, I am not ready to make such a huge commitment. After all, the decision to blog the novel came about after working through a couple of drafts. I have however, begun work on another piece, the one for which this blog was created. Hopefully it will provide enough intrigue and suspense to keep you going.

Unlike Brandi Daniels who wanted to go on an adventure and find out more about her father, this female protagonist is more interested in staying in her own place and time. A mind reader who has various abilities, she is trying to forget her past and the one moment when everything in her life changed from seemingly good to horribly wrong.

1. What is the name of your main character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Ife Bomani is indeed a fictional character, although I’ve only ever met one person with Ife as a first name. There are no similarities, however, because I didn’t really know her. In a family of four, Ife Bomani is the first born of two children. At seventeen she works to provide for her mentally sedated father and domineering mother. The product of a society that is learning to depend more and more on a younger work force, she is all too aware of how the society is changing; becoming more insular, as the gap between the black and white mark youths increases.

2. When and where is the story set?

The story is set in the not too distant future, in, an American state like New York City, where everything is run by the government. Or in the case of the City, by a Governor elect. In this post war climate, though, the people have been imprinted with a chip, which distinguishes, those who rule from those who must follow orders.

3. What should we know about him/her?

Ife Bomani looks like a punk rocker, with short black hair and even though she stands out in a crowd, she is not a rebel at heart. Although she has been known to get her best friend, Thom out of tight places she has no intention of leaving either her home or her family.

And the fact that other people are suspicious of mind readers and their abilities, she will do anything to appear normal, because she feels guilty about what happened to her father and grandfather, the day she became too curious about the government and how they were controlling the people.

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Having the ability to remember everything would seem like a pretty impressive gift, but  Ife would like to forget some of those memories, like her grandfather’s murder. Unlearn the ways in which her society is changing. Because there is a rift between what she has been taught and what she is beginning to see: People who do not follow the government’s way will be exterminated, including her, unless she can find a way to rectify what she was taught and the way of the world.

5. What is the personal growth of the character?

The challenge of possession so many memories is that after a while it can seem more like a burden and less like a gift. One think Ife will have to learn is how to depend on others so that the load will not seem so heavy, and to find commonalities of their shared existence. And how to process guilt and move on.

6. Is there a working title for the novel, and can we read more about it?

The working title for this piece is One Moment in Time.

7. When can we expect the book to be published?

Hopefully a year from now. Honestly, I am trying not to rush this, because somehow it is starting to feel right and I want the story to come out as it should.

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So thanks for reading. I’ve had a blast, sharing this with all of you and I’m looking forward to reading about Teagan’s Main Character, before then, make sure to check her out. Along with the other authors featured in this piece. Remember, she’ll be up next Monday. And Jennifer and Joanne will have pieces on the following Mondays.

Thanks again Mike, reading your piece has given me many pointers. Thanks again for the invite and inspiration!

And as always, keeping reading, writing and blogging! Every day you write you will get better.

Many Kind Regards,
Melissa