Staying Engaged With Your Craft
Do you ever feel the doldrums when you sit down to write? Even if you are great at what you do, staying engaged with writing can be difficult. We all struggle and life happens; deadlines come faster than you plan, ideas for your next project aren’t forthcoming, or too many ideas bog you down. Whether you produce proposals, poetry, reports, fiction, newsletter, or creative nonfiction, it is not always easy to express your ideas in a way that an audience will find engaging. So how can you make the journey from I can’t write this to I want to publish this?
Write it anyways.
The journey to engaging with your work starts with desire to write and better communicate your ideas. It’s not enough to research, have amazing writing skills, or possess technical knowledge about writing if you don’t actually sit down and write regularly. As Louis L’Amour said, “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
Write down and organize your ideas.
If you are anything like me, I will forget at least 20 ideas a day if I don’t write it down. It doesn’t matter where you write them down, as long as you do. I have notes in my phone, my tablet, and on every sticky note covering my desk.
You may already know what you want to write, but it can still be challenging to get those ideas started. Gather all your potential content and structure it on a page.
Manage your time.
Plan everything: what you have coming up, what you want to write about, when you should have parts written, and when you should be editing. Planning your time out won’t just keep you organized but it could also spark more ideas to write about. Be flexible with your schedule, remember that things can be moved around but don’t procrastinate. You are the writer, so take ownership of your work.
Adapt and continue learning.
Adapting to change is perhaps one of the most helpful skills you can develop as a writer. The world is continuously changing and so we must never stop learning. There will always be something more to learn – whether it’s a new editing software, deepening your understanding of technical communication, or learning how to incorporate lyrical elements into creative nonfiction.
Stay engaged with the literary community.
Whether you’re a novice writer or a seasoned professional, there is always value in connecting with different literary communities. Whatever the activity is be involved: read other writer’s work, be responsive with others in the community, attend readings and open mic nights, enjoy the entertainment others bring, or plug into writing groups. Community engagement is not just about sharing content but about making connections, growing as a writer, and having fun.
There are many things we can do as writers to engage with our craft and these are just a few examples. If you have any helpful suggestions and would like to start engaging with a literary community, then leave us a comment below. If it’s helpful to you, it will be helpful to someone else.