Avoiding ‘Never-ending Fiddling’

My writing day… Having drunk a cup of tea, I get up, switch on computer, go through emails etc, then come here to my blog. I write, I check, I double-check, I post and then I go to whatever I’m working on, which at present is my story set in the 1950’s.

What do other people do? Here’s a selection:

  • I like to start by staring at Twitter for % of my allotted time and then making a meaningless change to the table of contents before I have to go.
  • Make a coffee or a tea, get cosy, throw on my playlist, and reread everything I wrote in my previous session. Look at it all with fresh eyes, maybe edit a little, and then continue from there. I always, always have to reread before I dive back in. Just so I can recapture my voice.
  • I usually skim through what I previously wrote and then jump right in.
  • I start out a session with a thought clearing work, something low impact and more free-form and just write for a while to get some thoughts out of my head.
  • It’s easier to just let the random idea have its time on the page. As sometimes, instead of actual work, I apparently want to write a mood piece where the personifications of day and night are a couple who only get to see each other as the sun touches the horizon.
  • I usually warm up by writing out a detailed outline for the scene or section I plan to write the next day. Then I follow up by writing out the scene I detail outlined the previous day.
  • Straight in. I write every day religiously so the story is in my mind. I use a progress sheet with a one line reminder
  • I begin with angst and procrastination but I re-read it
  •  For me, it’s best to keep moving forward.

It’s fascinating to see how others work, someone begins ‘a new story arc’ (I’ve not heard that phrase before!) What strikes me is the similarity in some routines, the desire for ‘what is  called continuity‘; there are the same stumbling blocks: if I read the whole lot, I end up editing, and that leads to Never-ending Fiddling‘. Whatever the routine it all boils down to the same thing, wanting to ‘get back into writing mode”.

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