This is how you can do it to
First, let’s agree on something: I’m fairly good at writing. (Maybe it doesn’t translate because I don’t edit much.) Not because I was born to this gift, but because I’ve got people who thought me (my mum being the main one of them), I’ve read a shitload and writing has been my emotional outlet since I turned 16, when I started journaling to cope with my teenage overactive self.
A system to write down your ideas
Normally stories come to me with a title and a rough idea of the three or four ideas I want to share, I write as many worth bullet points I’ve come up with and forget about it.
I either jot them down on Medium or I will use Notion, I have a whole system to organize Medium Posts on Notion I’ll eventually write about and link here if it can be of someone’s use.
On finding a moment to write
At some point during the day, I’ll have to do something uncomfortable. I’ll refuse, open Medium, and start writing. Yeah, I procrastinate by writing on Medium…
The ideas are there, I just have to explore them a bit more and give them some more structure. Since most of the first creative boost is out of the way, I barely get stuck, I never write without knowing what I want to tell.
And beyond all I like to write, it gives me a sense of bubble only binge-watching can and it also feeds my need to be “productive” unlike reading or watching someone else’s story does. Writing is my safe space.
Don’t aim to be consistent
Every place is flooded with tools and tips on “how to be more consistent” and “keep it up”. However, let me tell you this is an absolutely bad idea.
Don’t get me wrong, the tips by themselves are quite good, however, they miss one very crucial point: we, as creatures, are many things but consistent. Check our mood, for instance, you are not always happy, nor always sad, it flows, as ideas and focus do. This is why I propose a quite different approach: write when you feel the need of writing.
But then I won’t write consistently and won’t build a following! Right? Wrong! You write in chunks of time, you schedule to publish consistently. The key is that you get content out consistently enough.
But then, can’t you publish more (and make more money)?
You would think that if you can write a week's worth of writing in one afternoon, why don’t you increase your overall productivity and publish twice, even three times a day?
Well, I don’t want to and I can’t. First, if I give in to the productivity logic I’ll get trapped and stop enjoying writing and I really wouldn’t want that happening. Fixing my relationship with writing can take way too long and I need it way too much for us to be apart for more than a week. Secondly, I’m unable to.
I can write for this long and this intensely in one afternoon because I haven’t written shit in two days, a week, a month. I’m fresh, I’m rested. I miss it and I’m craving it. This fuels me.
When should you write?
My optimum is Thursday night. Fridays I try to be social and on Thursdays, I’m way too tired to do uni work, but I know I should, so doing nothing makes me uncomfortable, I can’t relax, it’s time for me to procrastinate then! Medium here I come.
Sometimes is Saturday morning. Somedays is Monday morning. It really doesn’t matter, the thing is that once you start you keep the momentum (taking breaks as needed) but you get soo into what you are doing you can’t stop until your eyes fall off.
Edit after you publish
I’m not a good example and I probably should fix this, but it’s what works for me. I was born with a genetic predisposition to be a perfectionist. This is a huge burden you have to carry all throughout your life and collect as many tools as you can to fix it.
Some weeks I won’t make it
And it’s okay. I have about 3 or 5 stories I’m proud of that I’ve left unpublished. They are not time-sensitive, unlike a film or TV show review would be, or a response to a social movement. They tend to be in-depth reflections about myself that I use as my jokers.
When I don’t want to write (yep, not wanting is a very valid reason not to write, remember, if you push too hard you will blow it) I use these stories to avoid feeling that I’m getting caught in the wheel, which makes me feel anxious, which makes me avoid Medium all together because I feel I’m slacking.
Take this advice with a grain of salt. This is how I work, my mum is a writer (a legit one) and would find this advice terrifying. But then again, she doesn’t know what Medium is.
This advice is particular to me and it’s aim is to give you a spectrum of tools and a sense of relief when you aren’t being consistent and you keep feeling you are not doing enough. Writing is art, it’s creative and it was never meant to be consistent.
Get away from it and give yourself time to miss your lover. Only then you will know your relationship is worth the effort and you will come back fresh, with new ideas and epic energy.