Actually Twenty Creative Pages.
This is my commitment to writing. My commitment to me. Six days a week (I don’t write on Shabbos or Holidays). I also take a break if I’m suffering, especially when my body fails to cooperate, or when I require rest.
Some writers dedicate four or five hours a day to writing. Others measure writing through projects or completing tasks. This never worked for me. I don’t always have time nor ability to write for hours. I measure in page count.
How do I define twenty creative pages?
First, I don’t consider the following part of my “Creative Twenty”:
- Critical essays, writing responses for other writers.
- Editing for other writers.
- Book reviews.
- Blog posts.
- Social media posts.
- Curriculum development.
- Book proposals, bios, cover letters, etc.
- Marketing, business, “work” writing.
This helps me define what IS my “Creative Twenty”:
- Journal entries that are first drafts (I hand-write first drafts)
- Restructuring projects, including essays, narratives, or books.
- Any phase of editing or revision.
- Any combination of my projects. For example, I might work on a poem that is two pages in length, then flip to a ten-page essay, then diagram a new short story in my journal only four pages long. This would tally to sixteen pages and I would need to find four more pages somewhere in my life, to work in a creative way.
Why does this approach work for me? Everyone has a method or a system of some sort. Even those without a system–THAT’S their way. I prefer to write towards inspiration versus a start-to-finish approach. “Creative Twenty” affords me the opportunity to work on anything at anytime and then file away.
It’s the filing system that matters the most.
I currently have five book projects. Two are collections. Two are full-length novels. One is memoir. I sort my content into projects. One of my writing challenges is some material doesn’t “fit” into a category. At least not yet. Often essays or shorts turn into something more later. But sometimes they retain a “stand-alone” strength and I can submit them for publication as they are, all by themselves. I have a “finished” and “unfinished” filing system for these delectables.
The strength “Creative Twenty” offers is consistent inspiration.
I’m also a system-oriented analytical thinker. I work far better with a method in place, especially creative work, which can become daunting (to me) if not organized.
This is my writing life, how I approach the page, how I keep several working projects organized. My goal in sharing my method isn’t to encourage other writers to emulate this, but instead, to find their own way. Find a way to write that keeps you excited every time you arrive, pen in hand, blank page, blood pulsing, and a sense of eager energy to begin.
Keep the good words flowing.