I prefer good writing days to bad ones. So what do I define as a good writing day? A good writing day is one where the ideas, the characters, the dialogue, all seem to come together without much thought. There’s a sense of freedom and it is incredibly energizing. You’re working but it doesn’t feel like work. Nothing is forced onto the page.
A bad writing day for me consists of forcing thoughts onto the page just for exercise. Not that that is a bad thing. Writing something, anything, each day is great practice and if what I wrote is crap it can be fixed later. No, a bad writing day is the feeling your brain has slowed down and you are slogging through extra chunky peanut butter. Everything just feels so wrong.
The past couple of months have seen more mediocre or bad writing days than good. I struggled with the ideas were there but the words failed to materialize appropriately on the pages. Stories I’d written felt ‘off’. The stories were weak. The characters weren’t compelling. Even after revisions, it just wasn’t right. Experiments instead of blowing up like the wrong chemicals mixed in a chemistry lab, instead fell flat on the floor.
It was really discouraging. Too many bad writing days piled up causing me to second guess each sentence. I valued the stories written less and less.
Yet I knew I had to plug along.
When I have a good writing day I find there’s no initial fretting if what I just wrote is good or bad. I don’t care because the joy of writing has taken over. Creativity has spilt out; unleashed, raw, and authentic.
Over the last few weeks things started to turn around. Finding anthologies and contests which looked interesting has helped me have more pleasant writing days. Picking anthologies with themes that would challenge my mind and abilities has been fun. For example, composing a story entirely through dialogue with no speech tags (i.e. ‘he said’, ‘she said’) was a fun and exciting exercise. While winning or at least placing in this particular contest would be awesome, the biggest kick was how much fun I had. Not only did I push myself to write a story entirely in dialogue, I also attempted humor, something I think believe one either has an ear for it or not. I was fortunate to be able to submit it to my writers group before entering it and the response was positive. A nice little extra pep in my step I must admit.
A good or great writing day leaves me in a much better mood. That’s not to say when I’m struggling that I let it turn me into a complete sourpuss, but it does affect me. I find myself thinking more about what I feel was bad product and how to fix it. If I’m having a good writing day I don’t automatically think what I’ve written doesn’t need to be fixed, it certainly does require revising, but I feel the initial quality is better. I believe it goes back to that rush of unrestricted creative energy. It carries over into other aspects of my life.
So, yeah, today was a good day.