by Jake Teresi
During the year and a half since I graduated, I’ve been trying my hardest to be a productive writer, to prevent becoming one of those kids who says he’s a writer but hardly ever produces anything. Turns out it’s a lot harder for me to stay on point when I’m given free range, and I’ve gone from method to method with varying success:
(1) Only writing when inspired
I heaved a huge sigh of relief when I got my diploma. No more endless due dates and no more having to half-ass anything; a chance to let my projects come together organically. I could now work on what what I wanted when I wanted. But, 6 months in, I realized I hadn’t completed anything other than what was required of me at work.
That’s because this approach doesn’t entirely work, for a few reasons. The times I feel genuinely inspired to write, out of thin air, are few and far between. Generally, inspiration comes after you start writing. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s procrastinated until deep into the night before a paper’s due, thinking I had nothing to say, only to find, halfway through writing it, I was actually nailing it. I observed this many times without ever understanding it was more than the grace of god. Writing is such an uphill battle initially if you’re out of practice. The more out of practice you are, the harder it is to translate your ideas onto the page during moments of inspiration. Even worse, your inability to express yourself properly can spoil that euphoric feeling… so screw this approach. (more…)