Taking regular breaks from writing hasn’t always been all that voluntary for me. Many times I’m just unable to write no matter what I try and I fill these moments by working on my WIPs in other ways besides actually drafting or editing. Usually that means I work on my worldbuilding and it leads to new story ideas. Because of this and my active imagination I have enough to write for multiple lifetimes and a well-developed universe to set my stories in.
During the last couple of weeks I did some worldbuilding for a second continent, a creation/origin story for one (of my two) magic systems, fill in holes in the history of Mnaluria (the country Salandrine is set in), several deities, a cult, part of a religion I’m loosely going to base on Christianity, and more.
That’s actually a nice amount of work, if I say so myself! So here’s this week’s writer’s tip:
wordcounts aren’t the only measure of productivity.
Not that productivity is any measure of worth for a writer (if you don’t want to have your self-esteem plummet every few weeks over a dip in wordcount), but it’s also a good idea to be open-minded. No need to narrow it down to needing to write daily. Goals and aspiration can be an important part of your writer’s life, but it should be motivating and helpful, not something to drag you down.
So remember that being productive as a writer means helping you strive as an author. It means writing, yes, but also taking breaks so you don’t burn out. It means doing worldbuilding, finding inspiration, mulling over scenes, daydreaming about characters, researching, finding your audience, developing your voice, and many things more.
Looking back, I’m going to try viewing my own productivity in a better light. In all honesty, you’re probably working harder than you give yourself credit for too. I know I did. Let’s stop focusing on what we didn’t do, and focus on what we did.