How to Create the Writing Life
The writing life doesn’t just happen. My experience has been that certain activities nurture the writing life. Let’s look at some practical ways we can create and nourish the writing life.
Choose the writing life.
Creating the writing life means we start by making choices to set us up for success.
My writing days began when my two sons were young. They woke up early, and I chose to wake up earlier. Waking up at 5 a.m. meant I made other choices to lead to productive writing. For example, I tried not to stay up late, knowing fatigue made it hard for me to write. I backed away from some other commitments to free up energy and time for writing.
Think about your activities. Are you making room in your life for writing? What changes do you need to make to foster writing?
One amazing aspect of creativity is that it has so many shades. What works for me might not work for you. Become aware of what helps you get in the writing zone. I need sunlight streaming through the windows onto my writing table. If fresh flowers are in sight, I’m even happier. I prefer quiet, but many writers thrive on the hum of a coffee shop or music in the background.
Getting away from the writing desk can be helpful. Does Nature or time with friends rejuvenate you? Reading, perusing Pinterest, and watching HGTV stir my creativity.
After working with numerous writers, I’ve learned that verbally processing ideas before putting words to paper unleashes creativity.
What can you do today to help your creativity flow?
Write when you’re in the mood and when you’re not.
Creating the writing life means you write when it feels easy, but you also write when writing feels like tromping through mud. Sometimes your writing feels stale and dull. Angry words with your kids linger; worries way you down; doubts about your ability steal your desire to move forward.
These are the times you dig in and write out of obedience. Creating the writing life means we “cultivate faithfulness” (Psalm 37:3 NASB). For me that means writing at a certain time and writing a certain number of words daily.
What does writing out of obedience mean for you?
What kind of support do you need from your friends and family to create the writing life? Maybe you need the physical support of someone tending to your kids. Going out for some meals instead of cooking might be helpful. Knowing people are praying for me makes me feel supported.
Can you find a writing buddy in a friend? Can you join writing groups online or in person, so you have at least one other person who understands the writing life? Writing often feels isolating, so sharing your goals and dreams with others, especially those with the same desires, can provide needed support.
Where in your life do you need to ask for support?
Tend to your spirit.
Writing is a world that can trigger your insecurities in a nanosecond. You compare yourself to others, wondering if you’re as good. You try to get manuscripts published, wondering if you’re good enough.
That’s when you lean in to Jesus. You listen to Him sing love songs over you (Zephaniah 3:17). You let His love fill and renew you.
You might want to write out this verse, memorize it and use it as protection when insecure thoughts threaten.
Wherever you are in your writing journey–just beginning or seasoned, published or not–you create a writing life by making choices to foster your writing dreams. Which of these ideas can you implement this week to take a practical step toward creating the writing life?
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Melanie Chitwood is the author of two marriage books, What a Husband Needs from His Wife and What a Wife Needs from Her Husband. She’s a writing coach and editor at Next Step Coaching Services where she helps other writers make their dreams come true.