All writers have a process that allows them to create. However, the art of "Writing" is often mistaken for that "Process." Hopefully this blog explains the difference, and inspires people to develop their crafts, become writers, or just keep on writing.

Friday, June 14, 2024


I can honestly say this has been one of the busiest weeks of the year for me - and it ain't even over. I've been taking about 6 hours of online courses every day this week, working through a bunch of at-home tasks, managing a few moments of personal chaos, and doing all of this while maintaining a low-grade fever due to a cold that doesn't know summer is around the corner. Oh - and I've been writing as well.

In my book, this amounts to a pretty full dance card. In fact, I can tell I probably bit off a little more than I could chew for the week when I decided to go to sleep at 8 p.m. one day. It just felt like the right time, since there was nothing more I could possibly do without falling asleep. In hindsight, however, I did notice that the one activity that really took a hit during my busy week was the writing. In fact, having gone over some of Tuesday's writing yesterday, I realized it was suffering because of all the other things I was piling on my plate.

Before anyone else brings it up, I understand that I always say, "Find some time to write every day." I still believe that. However, sometimes the facts on the ground are that the huge amount of responsibilities you have might push your writing down the list a bit. Furthermore, since I was running a bit of a fever, maybe writing was the one thing I could've left off the list. I still chose to do everything, utterly exhausted myself, possibly shook off the cold, and wrote some really bad stuff. Is any of this bad? Did my poor writing cause my writing skills to lose some ground? No, but there was probably a better option to feed the creative side of my brain without going through the strain of writing.

Any guess what the best alternative might be?

Well, when the task of writing might just be a little too straining for you after a hard day's work, the alternative is to read something. Anything, really, but preferably something you've never read before. I do not recommend dusting off that copy of The Iliad you've been meaning to dive into. Rather, I keep a number of anthologies by various authors lying around my bookshelves. Collections of short stories and essays by various authors always gives me a chance to get some reading in without devoting myself to an entire book. I can pull out a copy of my collection of O. Henry, decide I can read about twenty pages, look for a story or stories that add up to that goal, and go to work. If not that, poetry works as well. Or Vonnegut, or King, or any themed anthology (I particularly like, "The Ultimate..." collection by Byron Preiss for getting different takes on subjects like zombies, werewolves, etc.)

The key here is that while you don't necessarily have to write every day if you are just too burned out, it is still beneficial to feed the creative part of your mind. As creatives, that little bit of additional stimulus every day keeps us healthy and active, ready to actually kick our writing into gear when we finally reclaim some energy. And nothing helps recharge the creative batteries like reading. If anything, read something that's not so good then tell yourself, "You know, I am going to write something better than that," and then let the writing begin.      


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  2. Replies
    1. Indeed. I feel for the concept of, "Check yourself before you wreck yourself."