In my previous post I talked about the process I go through when I begin writing, whether it's lyrics, music, stories, or poetry. This time I'm writing about another technique I hear about a lot of other writers using to get the creative juices flowing. It is to write, write, and then write some more. Similarly to what I mentioned in my previous post, there is strong emphasis on not imposing pressure to produce good writing. Though, eventually good writing is hard to avoid. This constant writing would involve journaling, stream of consciousness(or free) writing, writing with purpose, and making lists or editing. I find it to be a great way of staying in touch with what your mind is doing at all times of the day. It can also be a great way of getting burned out. But, if you've been in a writing slump these activities can certainly get you started. Often we will begin our day by jotting down their dreams. We'll describe the characters, events, undertones, and hidden meanings of our dreams. We'll also describe the feelings we had during these dreams, or our feelings after waking. These don't have to be long entries, sometimes a single word will do the trick if it's a word of great significance. Generally anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour will get the job done. Then we'll will get out of bed, make breakfast, read the paper, or a book, drink some coffee or tea while letting the day set in.
After breakfast we can get started on some stream of consciousness exercises. The purpose of this writing is to have no purpose. To just let words come pouring out as if turning on a shower head, and it's all going to go down the drain while we wait for the water to get hot. All kinds of crazy stuff will come out and there's no reason to put any pressure on yourself for these pages to be of any worth at all. But, we're often surprised at how over time they will offer some great starting points. What this exercise also offers is a way for you to connect your mind, or soul, to the pen and make a habit of pouring it out onto the paper.
Eventually your day will lead you to actually writing. At this point it's also not important to put stress on accomplishing anything, but, it is important that if you do accomplish anything, it has to be something you would feel good about. It has to be an expression of who you are, what you're feeling, or be from your character's perspective and express their thoughts and emotions. This may end up being only a few lines per day, or many pages, but it is important that you put in the time thinking on what you want to say. This is also a great time of the day to look back on the writing you've done in previous days and make corrections or additions.
Working this hard at being a writer doesn't always work around school, having a family, or keeping a roof over your head. But, if you try fitting it in for at least 2 hours per day you certainly can get a lot done. The important thing isn't that you're working on that novel, or that poem for class. It's not as important the product that matters, it's the process. Finishing a poem doesn't help you write the next one. It, whatever it is, will come to you if you just keep writing, writing, and writing some more.