They say you should blog frequently and write something else daily.
I can vouch for the benefits of both. Posting often definitely generates more views, more likes and more comments. Writing every day facilitates fluency, with words and phraseology, as well as helping the writer to keep track of plots, settings and characters, but, Dear Reader, there are so many OTHER THINGS I have to do: work, things to sort out at home, people I need to speak to and spend time with. So you go and do the other things. Many of these things, certainly the people, actually are indeed more important than your writing, so you should prioritise them, but, whatever your reason for Not Doing It, your writing becomes offside, the other things in your life get a free kick, then writing gets pushed to the touchline and off the pitch altogether.
You think to yourself. This won’t do. I must write… but what shall I write? You dredge up a story that’s been in
your mind for some time. You get on to the computer. You think of the thousand and one other things that you must do on your computer urgently, and you do them. Half an hour later, you open Word. You look at the blank screen for a minute, then – gingerly – type the title of your piece, but it’s terrifying seeing that title there in front of you. Actually, you don’t like the font, so you change it… and the margins… and the line-spacing. Ah, at last you can get on. You type the first few sentences which you compiled in your head during the day… but, oh dear. Already three reps and four adverbs are mocking you from the screen. As you go back and change it, you realise that second part of your carefully honed sentence repeats the gist of the first part.
…Then you go and make a cup of tea.
I find that not writing for a while destroys my confidence. Over the weekend I set myself the task of writing a short story for my real (face-to-face) writing group, on the topic blue. I’d known, for about two weeks, that I would write it about being a football fan, but on Saturday night I couldn’t assemble the various ideas that were flitting through my head. All that I knew was that it wasn’t working. Lying in bed on Sunday morning, I thought about it some more and over breakfast I did something I rarely do. I wrote down all my thoughts randomly in bubbles around the edge of a piece of scrap paper. I did not attempt to put the thoughts in any time sequence, because, in the past, that has overwhelmed any sort of planning. When, after church, lesson preparation and other things, which took far longer than I’d anticipated, I eventually got back to it, that piece of paper was a crutch. Although I didn’t write up every bubble and the content of many of the bubbles changed as I went on, the blank page no longer frightened me and, the more I wrote, the more easily the story came. I finished the story yesterday afternoon and in the evening wrote a book review for The Copperfield Review (which I’d meaning to do for a long time).
Which only goes to show, if I had been writing something every day, I wouldn’t have had a problem. Ho-hum.
I appreciate that the photos have nothing to do with the text, but these pictures show that, contrary to the commonly held view, Essex is a beautiful country. (Facebook friends, I’m afraid you will have already seen the turtle sitting on a log in the River Blackwater.)