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Enriching Your Writing Life

Thanks to so many of you for commenting on my new and improved blog, Sensibility and Sense. And thanks for joining me here for conversations about the writing life from right where we are. You’ll notice at the end of each post I provide a two-sided take away- the sensibility and the sense. Think about it as two little truth nuggets “to go;” a gift for stopping by even if you don’t have time to read and comment on the entire post.

Today I want to talk about setting aside writing time. You’ve heard it on every writer blog, author website and at every conference: “You must write every day in order to be successful.” And after more than 20 years in this business, I absolutely agree. In order to be your best-writer self, you must write something every day. But if you’re in the middle of raising kids and helping your husband finish his education and get his business off the ground, like I was many moons ago and still am, some days writing time is hard to come by. So, rather than beat yourself up for not working harder (which parents who are also writers often do), or beat yourself up for writing when the floors need vacuuming and dinner is waiting to be cooked (which writers who are moms are very prone to do), let me suggest changing the mantra from, “you must write every day,” to, “do something every day that enriches your writing life.” But what does that look like?

Enriching your writing life may be as simple as taking your kids to library story time, digesting as many picture books as you can while you’re there, and then checking out a bag full to read during the week. It can also be keeping a small journal or notebook with you and jotting down things you see in the lives of your children and their friends that might make an interesting story. It might just be taking a walk and clearing your mind of clutter so great ideas can come pouring in, or having a conversation with another lover of children’s books about the latest award winner. How about opening a file on your laptop before you put in the next load of laundry and jotting down a few thoughts before the dryer buzzes? Daily writing-life enrichment comes from so many places if you’re paying attention. Because in this hard-working writer’s opinion, writing is as much about being an expert observer as it is about being a gifted storyteller.

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  • Sensibility- Your love of reading and writing is a wonderful gift. Nurture it by finding ways to feed it every day.
  • Sense- Nurturing writing looks different for each person. Accept where you are on your journey and find practical ways to enrich your writing each day, even if you don’t have time to sit down at your computer and get in the “zone” for three hours.

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What are some ways you enrich your writing life on a daily basis?