How to Develop a Sustainable Writing Practice

Fostering practices that will serve your creativity for life.

Christina Care

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Journal with paints and dried flowers and polaroid pictures
Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

During the lockdown, I recorded an episode of the podcast Author Not Present, dedicated to discussing and workshopping creative writing. In this particular episode, my co-host Peter asks: How is the writing going?

At that stage, we were months into some of the most severe restrictions placed on us in the UK. We’d been limited to our homes, to going out only for emergencies, medication or food. I had decided to go freelance in December 2019, and then immediately lost all my income when the pandemic hit hard in March 2020. It was an intense period. A lot of people were struggling.

And yet, I was having an incredible time with my writing. I finished my first novel draft in April 2020, a second draft in June, sent it out into the world in July, and signed with my agent at Peters, Fraser + Dunlop in August. Quite a year.

In response to my months of unparalleled productivity, Peter jokingly replies, “You’ve just pissed off half our audience.”

I get that — not everyone had that kind of lockdown. The purpose of this article isn’t to rub salt in the wound. What I learned in that period of time is that there is a way to do this work without centring it around old fashioned ideas of ‘struggle’. Being creative — doing creative work — is taxing if you let it be. It’s better to prepare your writing practice to weather any storm. Sustainability is the key: how will you keep on writing through whatever life has to throw your way?

So, how did I manage to create an affirming and sustainable writing routine, despite the huge turmoil going on around me in the world?

I’m about to teach you.

Where did these writing techniques come from? How do I know they will work?

I want to start by acknowledging that I do not have child-care responsibilities, which enabled me to have the kind of time to develop and experiment with these ideas I’m about to share. I work for myself, I’m completing my Masters in Creative Writing, I just recently moved house (which I’m renovating), and I write. This is the basic outline of my day to…

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Christina Care

Emerging author, copywriter, editor and digital strategist helping creatives grow their practice. Xoogler.