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Craft | Internal

There are two very important internal aspects to writing that should go without saying but I’m bringing them up anyway.

The first is kind of an aside. Incase it is not clear, the goal of writing, writing, writing your way to better writing is that you need to internalize all the aspects that make a story good. Writing is hard enough without having to be overly deliberate. You need your sense of language to be automatic. Your pacing needs to come from an internal rhythm. Writing requires the ability to tap into our subconscious so all the tools for a good book need to be buried there.

The second is that most of our job as writers is thinking. This is awesome. We can work wherever we like. We could be in the grocery store with a scene showing in our head. We could be flying on a plane and staring out the window as we play with thoughts. The only time we need to be bored is when we are too tired/stressed to think. How cool is that?

Now it is important to note that letting your imagination run wild is a great way to get ideas. So you may have set some time aside to work on your novel but you are distracted by a daydream. Go for it. Get it out of your system then go back to work. You can’t befriend your subconscious if you never listen to it.

If you spend a week imagining what it would be like to date that girl from the cafe it is not a bad thing. Unlike free writing, which is still somewhat forced and requires the brain to focus. Just thinking about anything you damn well please is freeing and believe it or not productive.

Remember, nothing, not one thing, in a writer’s life is wasted. And you would be surprised how often what is on the top of your mind relates to your work. Plus if you have all these distracting thoughts that won’t go away, concentrating is going to be a bitch. Spend some time contemplating your life, your dreams your hopes, your character’s life, dreams, hopes and pretty much anything else that passes through.

If you haven’t given your mind enough time to play then you may find it takes a week or so to get through all the surface thoughts and dig down to the creative stuff. But if you don’t do it you won’t get there.

I have literally spent an entire week musing over scenario after scenario. I’m a full time writer mind you so that’s a lot of hours going through ideas. Then I turned around and started to write.

Sometimes what I create seems to have nothing to do with what I was thinking about. Usually that’s the case if I need to just get something out of my system or need to make some personal changes before I can continue. But others are spawned by day dreams and passing desires.

It is the one, very cool advantage writing has over most of the other arts. We can play in our head and call it work.


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