This week’s writing question (okay, okay … so I only recently answered last week’s question. Don’t judge) refers to the myriad of best practices for writers out there. I laughed out loud at something that was written by our dear Gabriela as she described her experience: she decided to read Stephen King’s On Writing (yes, that book in the S section of my shelf) and how she considered following his suggestion to write many words per day and read many books each year.I laughed out loud because I hadn’t even made it that far in Writing to know what Mr. King’s suggestions were (please forgive me, Mr. King! I still love your work!). However, the thought of such a regimented routine reminds me of why I didn’t join the military.I’m not good at following a strict order of processes. My brain isn’t wired that way. I mean, following the directions explicitly makes my brain crash and burn, just like Wile E. Coyote after a particularly unfortunate engagement with an Acme Company product (see what following the directions does for him?).Now see? That’s why I adore Ray Bradbury! Did I mention that he is my #1 favorite author? I suppose it stands to reason since I live in a space filled with speculative and science fiction. Anyway, I digress.There is nothing inherently wrong with best practices. If they didn’t work for either a successful single somebody or a gaggle of somebodies, they wouldn’t be best practices, now would they? For some, digging into NaNoWriMo is gold — following the expected word count to cross the finish line with enough words to make a book of some sort (after extensive editing and self-reflective questions like, ‘What was I thinking?’). I’ve done NaNo a couple of times and felt quite pressured. However, at the time, it was a great motivator.Personally, I tend to avoid best practice advice. I want to go boldly where no writer has gone before … or something. Thank you, Mr. Bradbury: let’s try this and see if it works. and if it doesn’t, no harm and no foul. Move on.The best practice is to keep writing. Something. At present, my various in-process works are not receiving much love. Just not feeling it. But when I do, I engage in little else. I try to keep up with a flash prompt or personal reflection (Note the posts on my new adventure, working out …) so my fiction-writing chops don’t chill long enough to thaw.Do you follow best practices? If so, what are they? Have you had any Wile E. Coyote crash moments in attempting to follow a best practice?
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