Yes, I can help you write better, and all it will cost you is five minutes of your day. That’s a pretty lofty claim isn’t it? I’m not talking about some sort of online lesson or scam. I’m talking about meta-writing. That’s right, writing about writing. But what does that mean?
Probably the best thing I’ve ever done for my writing was start keeping a writing journal. This isn’t the same journal in which I write what is going on in my life (I don’t actually have one of those). This isn’t the same journal in which I record all my latest ideas for new stories and novels (I do have one of those). I keep a journal in which I write every day about writing. It’s how I start each writing session, and sometimes I end it there, too.
Writing about writing helps me keep my head clear. All my ideas and worries are on paper, so there’s no risk of forgetting them. It lets me break my writing problems down into manageable chunks and focus more deeply on each individual issue. When I come to my writing with a clearer head, I can focus more on the words I am writing, rather than everything I need to work on.
But what do you write about writing? Anything. It could be favorite bits of writing advice, or what you plan to write that day. Mostly I use it to express how I’m feeling about the writing process. Maybe yesterday I had a bad writing day, and I’m still a little frustrated. I’ll start my next writing day about why I was frustrated, and then how I plan to work differently to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Other days, when I’ve got a thousand ideas about what I need to be working on, I’ll write about them to help create a plan for my writing session and make sure I come to it focused.
Another awesome benefit of this is that you can see trends in your writing. Maybe Wednesdays are stressful at work, so your writing tends to be more unfocused on Wednesdays. Getting to see patterns can help you come to your project more prepared.
Writing is all about ups and downs. It’s also nice to see that when you’ve had a really bad day that you’ve been there before and gotten through it, plus you’ll be able to see how you got through it and repeat.
What do you think about writing about writing? Do you do it? Does it help you? Leave a comment.