Clearing Away Clutter

Many experts will tell you that, as a writer seeking to perfect your craft, you must write every single day. I can’t completely disagree. The common belief in the “Rule of 10,000,” which roughly insists that in order to master a skill, one must repeat it 10,000 times or spend 10,000 hours practicing, is supported by reliable research many times over. Writing every day is a wonderful, challenging habit to pursue.


However, I would like to suggest that time away from your art is equally important. Not months or years, but a break nonetheless. That’s what this week has been for me.

One week on the US Gulf Coast, reading the stories of others, reveling in the complete joy of my marriage, reinforcing old connections, making new discoveries, and letting my writing rest. This doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about my WIPs or what comes next for my beloved characters. I most certainly have. It just means that, for me, allowing the fertile fields of my imagination lie fallow for a few days every so often seems to result in deeper roots, more brilliant flowers, and hardier growth.

I have discovered that simply walking away for a bit reinvigorates my desire to write. Be gracious with your art and understand how you work best. Listen to the advice in how-to books, article, podcasts, coffee break chats, and decide on your own whether to follow that advice or not. Trust yourself. Hold fast to what is beneficial to you and your process; throw out the junk which clutters your creativity.


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