Evening was gathering in all the corners of my house. The house was quiet enough that I could hear the wind blowing outside and I was snuggled under a blanket. A long, productive day, I reflected. Pretty sure I checked everything off my list except....sigh....except for writing.
I'd love to tell you that I always feel like writing. Truth is I don't. At the beginning of the day I always want to write. When the day is closing, my daughter is in bed, and I have a few quiet moments to myself, I don't want to pull out the laptop. I'm usually grateful if I do force myself to do it. But I hate forcing myself to do anything at the end of the day.
So instead of getting out the laptop and staring grumpily at the blinking cursor, you know what I did? I got out my phone and opened Pinterest. I made a new inspiration board for my novel. And I gathered. I collected images that spoke to me, images that stirred my imagination, images that looked like my characters and gave me ideas. And suddenly I wanted to write. No forcing required.
Gathering is rapidly becoming one of the most important pieces of my writing practice. Too often I try to force myself to write on empty. No wonder I don't want to write. Lately, I've been looking at my writing from an input-output perspective instead of just output. When I'm feeling dry, I take time to fill up. Gathering, for me, can mean reading inspirational quotes, reading a book about writing, reading books in my selected genre (fantasy right now), collecting inspirational images, or talking with other authors and artists.
I encourage you to incorporate gathering into your daily writing practice. A writing practice doesn't have to be all about putting words on paper. In fact, I'd argue it shouldn't be all about that. That's just not sustainable.
- If you haven't already, download my Creating Your Writing Practice Worksheet and plan out how many days a week you will gather, create, reflect, and share your writing.
- Make a list of ways you can gather inspiration; refer to this list on those days you don't feel like writing.
- Share your favorite ways to fill up on Instagram using the hashtag #sharingwithinkandgrace. Browse the hashtag to get new ideas and find new writers to connect with.