Everyone likes writing advice. I would bet every single published writer with a presence online has been asked about how to write or how to be a writer more times than they can count, or remember, or forget.
What’s been impossible for me to find advice for is writing and writing goals for people who cannot write every day or cannot write a lot every day because of their health. Finally, I realized, after months of reading online and trying to make myself fit into someone else’s routine, that the only reasonable advice is:
Find what works for you.
If you really want to write, it’ll happen. It might not happen every day or every week. Your health is more important than the next 1000 words. No buts. It just is.
I’ve been fighting myself trying to find a way to write. I joined Camp Nano again for April thinking it would be the motivation I needed to write. Well, most days I had no idea what to write, no focus to think through writing, or no energy after I finished the other things that needed done that day. Maybe this is what made me realize that someone else’s routines and goals won’t help me…. or at least I better have planned out exactly what I’m doing to be able to succeed for something like Nanowrimo or Camp Nano(wrimo).
Things I’ve learned:
1. It’s okay to not write every day.
2. Sometimes you can just think about writing.
3. Reading is good too.
4. Finding ways to brainstorm a little at a time is helpful. For example, I’ve started brainstorming a story idea on notecards. I have lots of notecards and write down a simple thing on each notecard.
5. There are days where you have to take care of yourself and rest and writing just won’t happen. If you can’t decide if you want to go back to bed after breakfast, you probably won’t be writing. Or maybe you’ll be writing after you take a nap.
How I use notecards/plan to use them: When I’m ready to actually sit down and write, I can grab one notecard at a time. I don’t need to start writing with chapters in mind. A first draft, or a pre-first draft, or a zero draft is just that… the very beginnings of a novel. The baby novel. The not ready to meet the world yet novel.
This advice works for everyone, but I think it’s especially important for anyone who is chronically sick or chronically ill and has to “count their spoons” to get through every day.