• S.M. Ryan

Writing Fuel & Keeping the Well Full


When we writers get to talking about what keeps us going we mostly tend to mention things like our favorite beverage while writing -- for me, it's coffee or wine or a beer, though it depends on the time or the kind of day I'm having.


I'm not going to pretend that coffee doesn't help me make it through the day or that I don't enjoy having a hot beverage to sip while I work -- I love it, it's part of my writing ritual.


But, there's more to writing than just gassing up and hitting the keys, anyone can do that. It takes a little bit of some other things to keep me fueled and going for the long run.


When I first got back into my writing heavily and started taking it seriously, I jumped straight into to writing every single day without considering how I would have to manage my creative energy after the swell of inspiration wore off.


To be fair, I didn't know that it was something I would have to consider at all-- I hadn't written in a while and I had a lot stored up. It did hold me over for a while.


But it meant I was hitting the wall of creative blocks often and it felt like it took longer to get through them every time.


It was a large learning curve finding the balance between being able to flex my creative energy every day and maintaining the ability to do that. Even now, I sometimes forget to stop and take the time to refill and end up needing a longer recovery break afterward.


Whether you're preparing for NaNoWriMo next month, participating in Milwordy, or just doing things like blogging every day for a month (this might just be me), writing takes energy the same as any other creative venture.


Maintaining that creative energy is essential to avoiding things like writer's block or worse, a fuel tank left on E.


Daily dose of a homemade mocha latte

In the spirit of that, I'm here to remind us all to check-in and take care of ourselves and our creative fuel tanks a little more often, in whatever ways work for you.


As someone who has built up the habit of writing every day and wanting to increase my output by writing a new blog post every single day for Preptober, I am learning to readjust the way I keep my creative tank full.



Morning Routine

The best way to keep the tank full is to start out with it full. I get that everyone isn't a morning person but it's less about when I wake up, even though it's pretty early, and more about having a morning routine that transitions me from why am I awake? to okay, I can do this.



Work Breaks

Just because I know that I can run through two days of work in one sitting if I don't take breaks, doesn't mean I should.


Scheduling in the work breaks vs just telling myself I'll take it helps me maintain focus because it gives me time to clear my head before refocusing on different tasks which helps to keep me from burning out one the one thing I'm doing.


Usually, the breaks are me taking lunch and spending time doing literally anything that isn't directly related to whatever I have on the to-do list for the day.


Close on a Cliff

When I'm working on my story projects, I like leaving myself on writing cliff hangers because it makes me want to hurry up and get back to the story the next day. I write everything I know I need to get done for the day and then I start the next day's writing session with a five-minute sprint and wherever I leave off, that's where it stays until the next day.


Doing this keeps me excited to write again the next day which means, I'm sure to show up.

How do you keep your creative tank full? How often are you taking care of your creative self? Let me know in the comments below.


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©2020 by S.M. Ryan The Writer | Armed With Ink Publishing