Whether you write for work, or self-expression, your passion for writing likely ebbs and flows. When you feel inspired, writing flows easily. When you feel disconnected or overwhelmed, writing can feel like pulling teeth. However, New York Times best-selling author John Perry believes that it is possible to sustain a long-term passion for writing if you employ a couple of key strategies. Having written biographies of historical figures including Sergeant Alvin York, Booker T. Washington and Winston Churchill, John Perry has extensive experience experimenting with the writing process. Having picked up dozens of useful tips along the way, author John Perry is here to outline how a little bit of consistent practice can re-invigorate your love of writing.
Identify What You’re Passionate About
Do you prefer writing about a specific genre? Field of study? A particular subject? John Perry explains that finding the spark that made you want to write in the first place is key to sustaining your passion for writing. If you don’t know what you’re interested in writing about, take the time to explore multiple genres and topics. Write a short story, informative article, or poem about travel, baking, politics or any other subject that captures your attention. Stay tapped into your feelings and intuition as you move through this exercise in self-exploration. You may want to revisit things you’ve written in the past to see if those subjects still spark an interest.
The concept of doing anything every single day is daunting. However, just like any other habit, the more consistently you practice it, the easier it becomes. John Perry states that the practice of writing every day will help you push beyond your own limitations. The length of time you write for is irrelevant — just do a little bit every day. Some days, you may not have anything to write about. Other days, you may write for 5 straight hours. Author John Perry explains that it is important to remember that not everything you write needs to have a purpose or be intended for publication. You can simply write for yourself, just get in the habit of doing it consistently.
Use Writing Prompts
Creativity is not something that comes easily to most people. Creativity is a muscle that can be flexed, stretched, and grown. If you’re having difficulty coming up with a concept to write about, John Perry suggests using writing prompts. There are thousands of writing prompts online that can help you flex your creativity. Whether it’s a creative storytelling prompt or a non-fiction prompt, thinking outside of your comfort zone can help you rediscover your love for writing.
Take a Break
Taking a break seems like an unlikely piece of advice for sustaining a continued writing practice, but it works. Author John Perry claims that when you’re brainstorming for a new short story, article, or book, it can be just as productive to take a step back as it can be to do focused work. Inspiration for creative writing comes in all forms. From a wintery walk through your local cemetery to watching a new documentary, a break can help you make new connections that you wouldn’t have made otherwise.
Don’t Edit While You Write
Now that a vast majority of writing is done digitally, the urge to edit as you write can be extremely difficult to resist. However, the most inspired writing is a continuous stream of consciousness. When you don’t stop to edit, move around, or change what you’ve just written, the writing process becomes seamless. Writing and editing are two different activities.