Knowing oneself, using that self-knowledge to set a creative and productive routine, will mean you write more and more quickly complete your book. In Part 1 you’ll find some quick questions that will help you survey yourself and set up your own routine. But in Part 2, let’s look at exceptions, and how routines have theirs. Break routine and experience some unexpected results! I like to take a week off and go somewhere different, with my focus and goals on writing. Guilty pleasure: I like to go alone.
I asked Sandy Coomer, director of the new Rockvale Writer’s Colony in College Grove, Tennessee, about that. “Sometimes a break from your normal routine is just the thing you need to find a new way to reconnect with yourself and with your writing. We get so used to doing things the same way, to bearing the same stresses, to treating distractions and interruptions as normal that we forget there are alternatives.” On her first writing residency, Sandy wrote and revised more poems in two weeks than she would have done in six months at home. She began to value designated time to write, and ended up opening the Rockvale Writer’s Colony.
While Sandy is a morning writer who is inspired by the outdoors, she has provided a space that accommodates needs for night owls, those who work best in solitude, those who like a comfy chair in a room with other writers, and those who like to hike to a creek and write by the sound of the water. She explained, “I’ve tried to create a place where writers can connect and reconnect with that part of themselves that loves words, that loves writing, that knows writing is part of their very being and without it, they aren’t really complete. I wanted to honor that need – the same need that I feel. I must write!”
Writing comes from the heart. Strike when the iron is hot! is so true of writing, so when you feel it, don’t hesitate!
Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on. – Louis L’Amour
Inspiration, your Muse, does not like to be kept waiting. So if you’re not near your favorite place to write, pull out the pocket notebook, or hit record on your phone, and save those ideas.
Years ago I wrote a poem about what can happen when you don’t. Poems in memoir, or as memoir… yes and yes. And yes, the next writing retreat at Rockvale is for writing poetry, December 1-2, 2018: Poetry of Calm & Comfort.
Find my own briefer writing workshops at PerfectMemoirs.com, Events.
Words flow like water
in the channels of my rnind,
pages at floodtide.
I imagine writing them tomorrow
Sharing my world like a diver,
A deluge of discourse with my readers.
But when the morning comes
pen and paper at hand,
the words are limp, crippled fish
left out to dry
upon the banks where thoughts
Diver’s Block c.1997 Deborah Douglas (Wilbrink)
First published in Playground Magazine, September, 1997.