Monday, July 28, 2008

“… and now for something completely different.”

Well, not quite. But this week I have tried something new. Every morning I got up at 6am to write for nearly an hour before I had to get ready to start my other (paid) working day. I sat up in bed each morning, opened my laptop or my notebook and put words on the page one after another.

Some mornings I got further than others; some mornings the time seemed to drag on as I tried to squeeze the words out of my brain; on others the time seemed to pass in the space of an early-morning yawn and I was suddenly scrambling to get all the ideas, phrases and words onto the page before I ran down the hallway to have a shower.

A couple of the people I have told about my new routine have raised their eyebrows and said things like, “Wow, you’re dedicated” (read crazy). At the risk of sounding like a pretentious git, it’s not about dedication for me. This is what I want to do with my life; it’s an absolute compulsion. When I’m not writing and putting some type of story together I feel frustrated, even angry, and am no doubt rather unpleasant company.

Of course this compulsion to write does not mean I can avoid frustration altogether. I still struggle to write more than the synopsis of a story, or the first three paragraphs. The ideas are constant – there are stories happening around me all the time, all I need do is look – but following them through from the gruelling process from interesting thought to a story that is not entirely dull is a very difficult exercise for me. My biggest problem is stamina.

And so I’m forcing myself to write every day; to have a writing routine. Hopefully eventually my stamina – and of course the quality of my writing! – will improve.

Tonight I start my Masters in Writing at UTS. No doubt study and the ominous presence of assignment deadlines will do a great deal to improve both my motivation and stamina!

What keeps you motivated to follow a creative project through to completion?

Just a week until the deadline for the current Monthly Project!

Photo by sucka74.


  1. I was doing this for sometime too (inspired by Julia Cameron's book "The Artist's way". It is a great time to write and a wonderful start to the day.

    I agree - the more you write, the more you want to write and the more ideas you have. For me, the trick is to keep writing even when I don't feel so inspired.
    Easier said than done! Well done for keeping it going.

  2. Good on you for setting that time every day. Keep doing it! I did a few writing classes at UTS during my journalism degree and I loved them. If you can get Debra Adelaide as a tutor you'll be so so lucky. After I gave birth to my baby boy I used my blog as an easy way to get back into journo eased me back into writing and let me get a grip on my thoughts and how best to express them. I'll keep checking in to see how the writing goes