One of my favorite writing quotes is, “I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles” (Shannon Hale). That’s how I feel this week, especially after spending all of Saturday doing writing sprints and accidentally finishing my steampunk novella. I’m sure there will be lots of places to go back and add things. I know there’s going to be a lot of editing.
I finished it!
One of the most helpful things as a writer is to have friends who are also writers. Because they know how writing works, and that productivity doesn’t always look productive. They join you for writing dates in coffee shops and writing sprints over social media. They are able to offer helpful critique beyond, “That was good, I really like it,” or “Nah, not my cup of tea.” They also understand all the baby name websites you have bookmarked and the innumerable Pinterest storyboards.
I went through a phase where I didn’t like writing anymore. I didn’t really have anything to talk about, and I didn’t want to work on anything.
But I started reading again. I think that was helpful. Most recently I read The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan, and I’m taking The Son of Neptune on a trip next week. I’ve read four other books so far this year, not counting some Fruits Basket and three and a half Harry Potters. I know that’s not a lot, but it’s enough to get the cogs turning again.
A couple years ago, I set my Goodreads reading challenge to 50. And I completed that challenge, but it was stressful and I didn’t really enjoy the books. Now, I just have a general life goal of reading 12 books a year. That’s just one a month, I can do that, right?
Reading is kind of like exercising for writing. Because all the writing prompts in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t know what to do with them. I mean, I get ideas from Netflix too, but not nearly as many as from plain old reading.
So, read, read, read! And then, write, write, write!