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My Three C’s of Writing

I need these three things in order to generate sufficient output. They just happen to be alliterative.

Every writer has personal rules. These are three of my rules. They must be in place if I want to have any hope of producing in high volume.

The first thing I need is to be committed to the project. If I am not invested in the project’s outcome then why am I there? I do everything in my power to write with real purpose. I don’t write a single word I don’t intend to polish and publish. Flippant writing is why I have a journal. The source of my commitment may vary. Sometimes I’m determined to publish by a certain deadline and it eats at me if I’m not making consistent progress.

Other times, I’m committed to seeing whether I have what it takes to write a particular story. Perhaps I’ll play in a new genre or with a length I think will push me to new growth. Regardless, learning and honing the craft of writing can provide commitment enough, at times.

Next, I must be caught up in the story and the lives of the characters. I make no distinction here between fiction and nonfiction. The best of both string a cast of characters together into shared circumstance and struggle. But if I’m not carried away with what is going on in the story how can I expect that from my readers?

So I write what is important. What is exciting. It’s easy to become enmired by the minutiae of transitions and world-building. We all do it. I remind myself that what I want is what readers want. And then I get on to writing the juicy stuff.

Lastly, and most important, I must be comfortable in my writing space. Because I work from home and have a two-year-old, I find myself writing all over the place. I do have a dedicated workspace and I prefer to write there but I also write a lot on my laptop and on my phone. No matter what, my production will be hindered if I’m uncomfortable.

Today, I was lying on my couch, jamming away on my laptop, making the most of my kid’s nap. I was in a good flow when out of nowhere I got a righteous back spasm. Lesser evils have broken the spell, to be sure, but it took me nearly six hours to get back in front of a keyboard.

These are the first things I concern myself with as I begin writing each day. Without them, I know I may have to settle for less than my best.