Some days, I really don't write all. I mean I write things like texts and emails and slacks and chats and DMs. But, I don't write copy or blogs or articles or marketing emails or words in my book project. I'll write here, reluctantly, because I promised I would. But, I won't write anything else meaningful.
And really some of these Yoke are a little lackluster in the meaning side.
I think days spent not writing are as important as the days spent writing. It is a chance to refresh and recalibrate and think and read and listen. Here's the best things, I've learned, while not writing:
1. How to Set-up a Story.
I will read 50-ish books this year but I will will start at least 100 other books. These 100 unfinished books will end up back in my Kindle queue or on my shelf. I might pick them up again. I might not. I used to feel some guilt over these unfinished books; but not anymore. Instead, I look at them as lessons. Those books I did not finish teach me something about how not to set-up a story; but they also teach me that every book isn't for every person and that's okay.
2. Cadence and Tone.
While reading is critical for a writer, I think listening is just as important. I've been listing to podcasts (all true crimes that have already been solved, but I am behind in the podcast thing, so I am catching up) lately. Listening to stories being told gives me more insight into how to pace my words and punctuate those words to create cadence in a sentence. Cadence is important in writing; it either slowly draws you in or purposely pulls at you, engaging you in an instant.
3. Writing is Noisy; But Requires Quiet.
My brain is such a noisy place when I am writing. The words come quickly, the interruptions are rampant, the new ideas jump in and I have to really listen to grab the story I want from my head. Sometimes, the noise is just noise and I cannot pull anything out. It is in those moments that I need quiet--the quiet that, for me, only comes when I am not writing.
4. Ideating is a Real Thing.
I have a text thread with a colleague of mine in which we joke about the amount of time we spend ideating. The thread is definitely filled with mockery over the concept of "ideating," but ideating is really important. I might spend 8 hours ideating on something and then write the perfect(ish, nothing is ever perfect) copy in 15 minutes. Time spent imagining, processing, conceiving, thinking and ruminating stops me from spinning my wheels when I sit down at my keyboard.
Note: I did not spend sufficient time ideating on this blog and it took a ridiculous amount of time to write!