How to Experience New Territory In Your Writing Career
by Jody Calkins
Are you stuck in the rut of writing based on a specific project goal? There's no doubt writing this way is efficient and productive, so long as you, yourself, are productive. But when was the last time you just wrote whatever came to you rather than focusing on a specific topic?
Before I go on, let me just say that I have always recommended having a plan and a schedule. They help us stay on track of our writing goals, give us practice on staying on topic, and strengthen the discipline we need to achieve writing success. We don't have to flounder around, wracking our brains for something to write about. We can stay focused knowing that we have a destination in mind, an objective to meet.
So, where is this switch coming from?
The experience I had the other day was enlightening. It made me realize that we can't stay focused on our goals at every second. Yes, we need to stay focused on our goals to achieve writing success, but sometimes we need to break away from structure and take an unbeaten path to new territory.
This isn't about not playing it safe. It's about allowing yourself to experience something potentially different. (I say "potentially" because breaking away from structure doesn't guarantee your experience will be different.)
So, how do we break away from structure?
The other night I sat down to work on my NaNoWriMo novel for a few minutes. But since I didn't have a clear idea of the plot or the main characters (I guess I was under-prepared for November!), I decided to switch gears and focus on writing whatever came out.
Can you guess what happened?
I wrote something that never would have been written if I had been focused on a specific project. My main focus for fiction writing is mysteries and thrillers. But there I was writing the opening scene for what sounded like a young adult "coming of age" story for girls.
Breaking away from structure allows us to see what else we're capable of and to experience something different. When we're stuck in a rut of writing the same thing, we can get bored with our work. And forcing our writing can lead to stories that lack depth, interest, and passion.
If the words just aren't flowing like they should be, take a step back, set that writing work aside, and just write what comes to you. Is it a story? Is it words for an article? Don't force the words or have a goal in mind. Write what comes to you and see what happens. Just let it happen.
What stories (or information) do you really have inside your mind?
Spend at least ten minutes every day just writing what comes out. Writing something new will help revitalize your writing talents and your muse. You might be surprised by the stories you have in you.
Letting the words flow without forcing them could take you to new territory in your writing career. Are you adventurous?
About the Author: Jody Calkins is a writer and editor with 15 years of experience. She helps businesses and independent writers enhance their writing work, and her work includes copywriting and editing business documents and marketing materials such as articles, case studies, newsletters, and reports, as well as writing and editing short stories, articles, and books (both fiction and nonfiction).
Writing well is all about providing professional material that offers value to readers, content that readers love or find helpful.
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