When hanging out with other writers, you soon learn that the “rules” of writing are pretty variable.
Some people talk of the importance of routine and consistency. Others talk of writing in terms of inspiration which strikes when it fancies.
As I near my tenth year of writing, I’ve come to recognise that that those moments of “the muse” are rare without some coaxing.
Some writers recommend daily writing as the best way to combat that “lack of muse”, while others focus on specific routines to prepare for writing.
If you’ve followed along on this journey, you’ll know I’ve tried multiple “methods” for writing consistently: from writing 80,000 words in 28 days and general wordcount tracking in a spreadsheet to daily write-chains for momentum. In terms of writing a novel specifically, I answered this reader question back in 2014.
Again, with life changes and wisdom accruing, things shift. Routines improve or become decayed.
Right now, I’ve been letting my brain simmer, and set limited deadlines to help with motivation so I don’t straggle too far behind. In March, I wrote a short story, then promptly took the month of April off from official writing duties.
Lately, with focus on my mentorship website and the transition from one job to another, I’ve found myself reading two autobiographical books, and even returning to an old non-fiction book I’d started writing years back, about all my resilience-strength knowledge and various placement experience of seeing humans survive difficulties.
Having said that, this doesn’t mean I haven’t written when the mood struck, but not relying on a muse has also meant that I haven’t relied on being in that mood to write when deadlines have loomed.