Guess what I did today?
If you said I left everything to the last minute and now I have to scramble—you’d be correct.
Ugh. The truth is that I’m not as organized as I’d like to be. Ah, that’s crap…I’m not organized at all. Or at least that’s the way I feel today.
Is this an anomaly, or is it just who I am? That’s really the question, isn’t it?
See, I can cite many excuses like laundry, family duties, or illness but the reality is laziness, procrastination, and pure avoidance. Yup ‘fraid so.
Sometimes I’ll read an author’s site and it says they write each day from 6 am to 4 pm, and I want to pull my hair out. Is that true? All I can do is take it at face value and believe in the scheduling perfection someone else has come to master. Good for them.
Me? Heck, I’m all over the frikken place.
Sometimes I don’t start writing until the afternoon and often it isn’t every day because of commitments or Netflix. Yup, I have no problem blaming streaming services as an evil distraction. Have you seen some of the stuff on there? Brilliant… but I ah, digress. Sorry.
As a writer, it’s good to have some sort of schedule or routine but you need to find one that’s all your own, that you can live with and dictate. It *must* be yours and yours alone.
If you listen to the experts, you’ll find that one will say you must write 5k a day. Another will instruct you to take deep breathes as you blindly write, and still another will tell you they do their best work at two o’clock in the morning. Everyone has an answer and knows best but those directions belongs to them, not you.
I remember once at a conference where one of the presenters passionately shared her routine of prepping her workstation for the next morning before going to bed at night.
The way she told the story to the class it felt like the “only way to do it” was her way… which meant writing first thing in the morning before your brain got all twisted (like mine) and distracted. She wanted all the students to line up their pens, paper, and writing needs the night before so all was ready when you woke to your perpetual pesky muse demanding attention.
Sorry, this girl doesn’t ‘do’ mornings. I walked away but what bothered me was the potential damage to the new writers in the class—the ones looking to still find their way.
Several years ago, I’d have stayed for such a workshop and then walked away believing that what I was doing was all wrong. A professional teacher person said I needed to do it “this way” but I didn’t have the ability or desire to do it that way. So in my twisted writer brain, it meant I’d never become a successful writer. Does that make sense?
I hope so, because if you can relate to that you can relate to how totally incorrect it is.
Well, let’s shift forward a few years (maybe a decade or so—shhhh…) and now I call bullshit. There’s no right way. There is no wrong way. There is only your way.
If you want to hang upside down from the chandelier and dictate your notes into a recorder then so be it. If you want to get up at the crack of dawn and bow to the muse–so be it.
For me, I need to drink my coffee, wake up, poke my brain into action, and make sure there are no fires that need my attention. Then and only then can I head to my chair and begin to write.
I have many projects on the go at the same time which is normal for me but I’ll discuss this another time. Right now I need to get to work and stop procrastinating. Time’s a-wasting!
Talk soon. Do it your way. That’s the only way.
Check out these posts by successful writers and authors–not to do what they do but to learn and make your own decisions.
Jonas Saul is a writer who began by self publishing but now has movie deals and an agent who knocked on his door. Learn from him.
Michelle Barker is a successful author and a full time editor. Learn from her skills and use them to find your way.
John Mavin is a writer, author, and writing instructor. His story and tips may also steer you in an independent direction.
It always good to glean information from the the experts and then find your own way.
12 thoughts on “I Stopped Listening to the Experts and Did it My Way”
Yep! I’m self-editing my project (maybe book, maybe series of workbooks, still not sure…) and going through the comments from my beta readers (amazing folks! Can’t thank them enough!). And while some love my ideas, others remind me clearly that “my way” isn’t going to work for everyone. So what to do? Offer more ideas and options? Add reminders that these are just my experiences and everyone needs to find their own way (I’ve already done that, but maybe need to repeat the message more…). Anyway, thanks Faye, another excellent–and practical–post!
Thanks Norma. Hmm…that’s a bit of a dilemma. I think if you remind people that what you’re saying worked for you and that they’re suggestions meant to be individualized then that may work. What I take exception to is the idea of my way or the highway sort of thing….especially with newer writers. Guidance is always welcome. I know you’ll find it. xo
Great post. We have access to a lot of information and tips about how to do things in the “best” way – but as you say, there’s no good or wrong way, there is just your way.
We tend to forget to listen to our inner voice, the one who knows best what to do and how to do it. It’s really important to be in contact with that voice.
Thanks Faye for sharing!
Hi Claudia! Thanks so much for stopping by. I really appreciate it. I agree, we do sometime forget to listen to that inner voice…or worse, we ignore it. Sigh…So important to be in tune. Thx again. Hope to see you again Claudia. xo
Yes love this post. So enlightening. I am not an early riser either. And I’m lucky if my toddler let’s me have an hour to myself through out a day.
There’s no right way.
Hi Amy! You are so right. We’re all pulled in so many different directions that you have to find your own way. Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate it.
There is a lot of experts around these days and majority will tell you how you should be doing things yet, they forget that you should be doing you. I think everyone has got different moments in a day when they are most productive.
Hello and thanks for stopping by. Doing “you” is always the most important way to move forward, So true. Thx for commenting very much appreciated.
Wonderful post! I also write when I feel the inspiration to do so… It doesn’t follow any particular schedule and it’s also all decided my baby for when I can spare the time to pick up a pen and write. I honestly believe the best thing we can do is to do what works best for each of us. None of us are the same!
Well said Anna. We are all so different and our lives are unique to our circumstances. We need to follow our own instincts but…we do make sure we get ‘er done. Thanks so much for stopping by Anna. So appreciated. xo