Write daily to improve (not) – Finding my own writing process

I’m pretty sure you will see this kind of content everywhere. I’m writing it anyway because I want to share my process and how I make my writing work.

The general consensus amongst writers, especially those what we deemed to be high-performers based on metrics like how many views, how many pieces of content they put out, how many claps or likes they get, and the amount of engagement they have, is that you should write daily. As wise people always say, quantity over quality. Keep putting yourself out there and not be paralyze by the fear of not putting out a piece of viral content.

Those advices are not wrong. I tried writing daily and now I can just hit publish without worrying whether my content is good enough. The market will decide by giving me likes or views or comments. And thus far, based on those metrics, my content sucks. Big time. But I digress.

Anyway, there are days when I simply don’t feel like writing because they are dry in terms of things that I have done or learnt or seen. My only excuse is that I live through most of my day following a fix routine => Wake up, go to work, go through my task list, do them, go home. Rinse, rise, repeat. Fixed routines can dramatically drain one’s inspiration but it is also one of those things that keep me sane in an insane world.

I’m neurotic in that sense.

And my day job does make me write a lot. I’m a software developer and so I write codes. Those things, when you do them for eight hours straight, they are bloody draining on one’s mental energy. Then there are those menial tasks like meetings and customer support.

I also do freelance development work for a long-time client. My mind is constantly working and churning.

By the time I get home, I’m already floored. I’m a highly-sensitive person and do need more personal time than the average person to relax and clear the toxins from my body.

Being highly-sensitive is not an excuse. I have also been building up my emotional immunity but there will be days when the balance is off and I didn’t have enough time to tip the scale accordingly. That’s when you will see me spiral out of control, have lots of mood swings.

Well, I don’t want that. It’s bad for my health too. My friends and family don’t want that because I do get extremely grumpy when I don’t rest enough. So I will find ways to shut down my mind for just a little while. Have a massage or something.

I’m also predominantly a fiction writer. Those take a lot of time to write. It’s even worse when you ran out of ideas, and feeling exhausted mentally and physically. Yes, you do see non-fiction writing coming from me but those are out there because I felt the urge to write them. Including this one. I am not specifically looking forward to write them. I don’t even write my daily log or journal daily.

Of course, you can say that there are other fiction writers who can put out daily content without problem.

Yes, I know. I do read content from these writers too. Good for them. They found a writing process that works for them. Some of them are even full-time writers. I’m not them. I have a day job that is equally draining for someone like me. I don’t do micro-fictions. I’m a long form fiction writer. The average length of my short story is anywhere between 2,000 to 4,000 words. Those take a lot of effort on my part to churn out. And need a healthy dose of inspiration. And a rested mind, not a moody one after a long day of work.

So I do spent time playing video games (sometimes for hours non-stop), watch movies, exercise, and read. If I need it, I will nap for four hours straight. This is how I take care of my mental state and health.

Then there will be days I’m feeling it. The inspiration just struck. I will just sit there and write. I could hit up to 9,000 words, maybe even 10,000, if I wanted to. After all, I did that a few times when I want to write a novel.

There was once, I even managed to churn out 14,000 words over three days as I was writing a novel. I was in the zone (or flow state) after being well-rested, full of motivation, and inspiration. That was one of my best records ever.

So yeah, you won’t see me putting out daily content just because it will improve my writing. I do believe in consistent practice but rest is equally important. Play is equally important. Balance is key. So I will put out content when I have the capacity to do so. I have other means and ways to improve my own writing.

Now that’s my writing process.

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