Best (Worst?) Practices, An Odyssey #DIYMFA

Happy February!

I meant to answer this prompt earlier, but I had a story to write for NYC Midnight‘s #shortstorychallenge2018! Sad to say procrastination grabbed a hold of me by Wednesday, throwing all productivity aside (engaging all the fear monsters though), but I managed to write 1,500 (aka most of it) on Saturday and of course had a last minute full on editing session before resubmitting. Judges be all judgy. Que sera, sera!

I’m well behind on prompts, so I’ll try my best to catch up, which may mean more than one update a week (gasp)! Our first prompt this week:


Ohh boy. Let’s see, how do I keep this short and succinct?

All of it.

Well, nearly most of it.

Write every day

HAH! 😂 You so funny. (Have you met me?)

Sometimes I do (👏🏼👏🏼), sometimes I can’t. This thing called life gets in the way– ever heard of it?

I do write my journal every day. Does that count? (Mm, nope.)

Write 2,000 words no let’s say 3 pages per day

HA ha ha… ha. Nope. Sometimes I write in bursts, and sometimes I struggle for hours on one sentence. (Especially the crucial sentence to pull me out of writer’s block.)

Don’t reread what you write

Sorry to disappoint, but that’s usually how I get back in the flow of things? Especially because I tend to contradict the next best practice…

Don’t edit as you go

Whoops? I can’t help it! When I’m jumping back in a story, either after a long or short time away (writer’s block, break, or whatnot), I reread from the top, get alllllll excited about the story again while fixing small things (or finding big things to fix later) and then keep on writin’!

First drafts are crap

Can’t really argue with that one, except it depends what kind of draft. Ish. I don’t tend to edit the hell out of something unless I know I’m going to submit it to a contest, for example. Mostly because finishing the darn thing is half the battle! And because I tend to edit as I go, I like to think my drafts are less crap. But probably not, because I also have high standards and if someone comes back with comments, I will contemplate/action them foreverrrr! Ish.

So from my experience… I don’t like to follow rules? (When it comes to writing! I don’t go robbing banks, murdering people, or living under a false nam– Um. This is an exception… 😅)

Now I’m trying reeeeally hard to find a rule that I do write by, but I’m coming up empty. 😶 I write when inspired, or when I have a deadline (hello contests, you’re my new frenemies). I definitely don’t count words, sentences, or pages when I write, but I know in my gut if I was productive or not.

For instance:

If I only write a few sentences during my (rare) dedicated writing time, I’ll be disappointed. Rating: 😞 (could’ve done better)

If I squeeze one sentence in before bed time because I was too caught up in #life and #adulting, then I’ll be pretty damn happy. Rating: 😁🌟 (yay!!)

So that’s me, all practiced out. (Technically still building my practice? I only have 5 patients at the moment. Well– 5 complete patients, the rest are in pieces!)

Wri(gh)te on!
Ali J.

What “best practice” have you heard and/or tried? How did you go? Did you change the advice to suit your style? What did you learn about your writer self during the process? Share your experience below!

5 thoughts on “Best (Worst?) Practices, An Odyssey #DIYMFA”

  1. I think each word of advice has been helpful in its own way, to me. I did write everyday for a spell and it helped me. After a few years and about a million words later, I find taking occasional breaks healthier and more efficient.

    The best advice that has worked for me is : No advice fits all. Took me a while to get that, so you’re already way ahead of the curve :).

    Prizewinning author David Swann is on my blog this week, and I felt some of his advice was spot-on for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a good point, I did try each of them at some point (as far as I can remember anyway), but… here I am! Not following any at the moment. 😉

      Great point, and probably the best advice to give new/developing writers especially!

      Yes, I was just reading that! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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