The Rhythm of Writing

To be a successful writer, we’re encouraged to do many things:

  • Write every day.
  • Study the craft.
  • Read regularly, both in our genre and outside it.
  • Build our platform.
  • Maintain a blog.
  • Participate in a critique group.
  • Attend writing conferences.

The list goes on, and it overwhelms me. Though I do well at writing every day and blogging, I struggle doing the other items on a consistent basis. And this is when the rest of my life is in order. When something disrupts the rhythm of my life, it sorely disrupts the rhythm of my writing. Mostly I feel guilty over what I’m not doing to advance my writing career.

I’m in that season of disruption now. My wife and I are simultaneously selling our house, packing, and planning for the next one. To adjust, we’ve made many changes to our normal schedule. Everything that can be put on hold is on hold. I’ve even curtailed my daily writing routine and am struggling with blogging.

I share this for two reasons:

First, for the next three Saturdays, my posts will be different. They’ll be short and you will have the opportunity to finish them. I’m excited for what you will contribute.

Second, as writers we all go through these cycles, but we mostly keep the down times to ourselves. I think we need to talk about them and not pretend they don’t exist. Then we can encourage each other to press on and not give up.

What season is your writing in today? Are you encouraged or discouraged?

3 thoughts on “The Rhythm of Writing

  1. For the past eight months I have been off kilter. Our big family has been through many emotional transitions. This has rippled down to my writing. A new novel start has helped me process some of the challenges of many lives swirling around my wife and me.

    A new writing device has thrown me off a bit.

    My writing place had disappeared and reappeared.

    The cadence was and is thrown off. It’s not that I have stopped writing, but the extra stuff like reading about writing has ground to a halt. I see it every time I attend my writing group. There’s an apathy, a looseness, a loss of attention to detail.

    This is a season in which I need to develop resolve and persistence. To whip the words into submission despite or even because the world swirls and clangs like a symbol. The words will come as I engage my world and the moments in it.

What do you think? Please leave a comment!