Life, Writing Process

Celebrating and New Writing Rituals

For any girl born in the 90s that watched 13 Going On 30, we’ve impatiently awaited the day we got to shout that we are “Thirty and flirty and thriving!” Yeah, that was one wicked line!

We were impatient to start our lives, sick of being teens; misunderstood, awkward, bullied. Well, the journey to being 30 wasn’t magical, and was certainly filled with more painful growth than any media ever let on (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t wrap up in a neat little bow, some things are just left frayed at the end). But, after 30 years of life, I know my flaws better than I ever thought I needed. After 30 years of life, I’m still finding strengths I didn’t know I had in me.

Growth is constant and so is its pain. I’ve only learned that I’m never going to be sure of anything, and maybe that’s okay. Have I learned to accept that fact fully? Heck no, I’m anxious as all get out almost all the time. Have I learned that it’s okay to have those feelings? Yes, and I’m working on dealing with that part of it.

So here’s to 30. I’m not expecting it to be sparkly and magical, but I’m pretty sure I can get myself to the “thriving” part. Heck, teenaged me would probably think I’m there.

New writing ritual?

Oh yeah! I started my re-writing (finally) and am loving short bursts of writing time.

I was having a rough time getting back into my manuscript after taking a break for the holidays, and after doing the admin of inputting all of my scene cards into a new Scrivener document. With the cards in, I put my word count goal in and initially set the goal of 6 months.

When I came back to write, I changed it to a full year. This would double the time, and take a huge load of pressure off of my mind. Literally halving the amount of words that the ticker at the top said I needed to hit each session did wonders for my mental state in the writing sessions. I was suddenly FLYING through sessions. It felt amazing.

The other kick start I used was setting a timer for 5 minutes. Just five minutes of writing time and then I could be done for the day. Such a small amount of time is not intimidating. So what if I only get in a paragraph or a few lines. I wrote for the day. Then, when I started feeling like it wasn’t enough time for the Creative Self to get fulfillment, or the pull of the story was more enticing than the resistance of forming sentences, I bumped it up to 10 minutes; then 15.

Soon I was beating the wordcount ticker before the timer was out. Now I don’t even need a timer, but still set it when I’m feeling particularly resistant to writing. Just 10-15 minutes of writing. That’s all. If I can get that in a day, then what a productive day!

Mood helps as well – candles, lofi beats (yeah I’m one of those writers), and some good tea. Positive reinforcement helps make the writing work enjoyable time and time again. It’s got me coming back at least a couple times per week.

What methods have you tried to get back into the swing of writing? Have you tried just 5 minutes?

Happy Writing!

Rachel

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