Developing a writing discipline
April 27, 2011 3:44 AM Subscribe
Aspiring author here, asking other writing MeFites: how do you write? How do you discipline yourself? What gets you in the Zone? I have no discipline as a writer and depend on random bouts of inspiration, but I'd like to start approaching writing in a more structured way, with a view to (gasp!) publishing one day.
posted by Ziggy500 to writing & language (31 answers total) 99 users marked this as a favorite
I really love writing and have done so since I was a kid, although I have never been that great at actually finishing things.
I have a novel sort of simmering away in my brain which I'd love to complete. And maybe even publish it! Although I'm not to bothered about that bit. Just finishing it would be a great achievement!
But the problem is I have absolutely no discipline as a writer. I just wait for inspiration to hit me and then I'm off and can write many pages in a few hours, totally in the Zone, and these are the pages I come back to later and rejoice at how alive the characters seem and how realistic the dialogue sounds. But I have no control over this Zone. It comes when it comes, and I can find myself writing up to 4am on a work night or, worse, writing at work, because I know that if I don't write immediately, I'll lose the inspiration.
I mean, I'm not complaining; I'm grateful for those random bursts of inspiration but I just wish I had more control. I read about writers who sit in their dedicated studios and write from 8am to 8pm everyday and I'm like, how do they DO that? Because if I'm not in the mood, I could sit and stare at the same blank page for hours. Sometimes I force a few paragraphs out, but it's like blood from a stone.
So tl;dr: How do you approach your writing in a disciplined manner? What is your routine? How do you keep the inspiration going?