What Counts as Writing

What Counts as WritingI feel that in the online writing world, there is a lot of pressure to constantly practice writing.

Many people post about how many words they write a day, what they wrote about, and what progress is like on their latest venture. But not every writer is ready to be an author, and not every writer has time to practice traditional writing every day.

The standards can be set pretty high amongst bloggers for writing, and that can be a bit overwhelming for some. Especially for those who already have full-time jobs, kids, pets, etc. Are they less devoted to writing? No, of course not. Not all of us have the luxury of writing whenever we feel like it, or of spending hours and hours at it a day.

But just because they aren’t working on manuscripts doesn’t mean that they aren’t producing anything. Writing encompasses so many various trades and skills that even thinking about it can help you to improve your content. So, for those who struggle to find time, what else counts as writing?

  • Texting. Yes, I believe that texting is a form of writing. It teaches you about the new communication trends that are emerging due to mobile usage. It helps you to understand new dialogue possibilities and practices.
  • Conversations. Dialogue is a key part of creating strong stories. Just speaking to other people and observing how they interact can help to improve dialogue in your work.
  • Reading. Of course, reading is one of the biggest components of writing well. If you read anything, from news articles to a quick blog or social media post, it’s better than nothing at all.
  • People watching. How do you create interesting and diverse characters? By watching other people and taking pieces of the ones that intrigue you. Writing is in part made up of what we know, and so, the more we know, the more that we can write.
  • Writing what you don’t want to. So you want to write comedy, but you are stuck writing about insurance all day. Writing is writing, my friend. And words are words. Every click of the keyboard is shaping and molding your skills, whether you know it or not.
  • TV and video games. TV and video games are virtually books that have come to life. My thoughts are that they are useful in exercising your descriptive writing abilities as well as relationships, characters, story arcs, and more.

Writing isn’t just about putting pen to paper and writing about what you want to. Stories take work. They take time. Even writing 10,000 words a day won’t guarantee that you are a good writer, or that your work will make it. When you don’t have the time to write what you want to, don’t feel guilty.

Just try to learn from the vast number of experiences taking place around you. Relate them to your work, and use the world as your classroom. By doing so, you can create a very rich writing experience both for yourself, and your readers.

What do you do when you don’t have time to focus on writing stories? Do you ever feel guilty for not writing enough? Do you ever feel pressure to write more?

I’ll be on Facebook until next time.

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9 thoughts on “What Counts as Writing

  1. Interacting with the world is a crucial part of writing. We’ll never understand how to write stories that will touch the world if we spend all our time closeted away with our computers. I’ve found that one of the most effective ways to inspire and improve my writing is to get out and DO something with other people. That’s research, my friends, and it definitely counts as writing. 🙂 Thanks for a great post!

    • My pleasure! I quite agree. Although, I am, at times, antisocial, so for me, just pulling myself away from the page is enough. It’s crucial to learn from everything that surrounds us, though, and to sprinkle that into our writing.

  2. Aah, I needed this. I have time to work on my MS, but no motivation. In part due to mental health, but mostly just a heavy, lethargic laziness. So I do always feel really guilty when I don’t work on the book – I have way less time to do so now since I do have a baby who is old enough to realize I could be playing with her and therefore, of course, need to be. But there’s still at least fifteen minute snatches of naptime, if not hour swaths. Makes me feel like a bit of a fraud – I do freelance articles, sure, but I’m not working on my book! But then…I DO still do freelancing, and I do read, and I do roleplay, so I AM still writing.

    • I can’t even imagine how hard it must be to find time with a little one. I have three pets, a husband, and a full-time job (albeit as a writer, but it doesn’t give me time to work on my personal writing interests) with clients on the side and I can barely find time to write a blog, let alone work on a story of my own. Don’t feel guilty, just spend your time learning so that you can concentrate your writing efforts when you get a few moments to work on your interests.

    • I don’t think it sounds lame. I write when I feel like it, and I don’t when I don’t. I have written enough that most of what I write comes out at least mostly ready for an audience, so I never force myself because I know it wouldn’t be quite what I wanted it to be.

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