Oh man, how do I even begin to try and explain my rules for working toward ‘flow’ as a writer? You may think: Well Alex, just write them out. It can’t be that difficult for you. I can tell you that you are terrifically wrong. Why? Because I don’t have rules. At least not ones that are set in stone. That would entail that I’m super proactive about writing, and while I enjoy it immensely, that would be a lie.
Really I follow the phrase: “Shut up and get on with it” more than having a set of rules to get me started. Much of the time, I get hit with the desire to write above all else, or I’m walking around outside and I imagine my characters walking beside me. When I begin to think of how they would react in my own personal situations, that is usually when I am struck with the desire to write. This is problematic because it doesn’t happen all the time, and when it does, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to make me write, or produce good writing. I suppose if I’m going to make myself want to write, more for a scholarly purpose than anything, I like to give myself a quiet space to work, generally my bedroom. I’ll make sure I have music on in the background and that the only light in my room is either natural daylight or soft Christmas lights. It is much more about my environment than it is about the drive to write, really. Once I’m in the right place to start writing it usually comes naturally, but it does determine how easy or difficult it is to write depending on the content I am writing about.
Once I begin to write, I really try and focus on producing my best work, depending on what it is I am meant to be working on. It may be difficult, but I constantly remind myself that I can produce something good. I suppose if I’m attempting to define a rule that I use to help myself flow as a writer, it would be that—constant encouragement. I have to remind myself that while it may not be the best work I can produce, it’s better than not writing at all. That’s what editing is for, right?
Writing isn’t easy, and it is especially difficult when I struggle to feel confident in my work, but it’s a continual journey rather than a final polished piece. I don’t have rules, and I wouldn’t expect other writers to have them either. Writing is too much of a free idea to have rules. Why should I try and confine it?