I follow Chris Riddell – an illustrious-genius-incomparable-illustrator – on Instagram and so far I have learned one thing: if you want to be good at something, do it every day.
He uploads little sketches of all the amazing things he draws daily and I get the sense he was doing this long before Instagram or Twitter. (How amazing would it be to sneak into his studio and page through his reams I of sketchbooks!) He understands the value of practise, and study, and the perpetual nudging of his imagination to keep it awake.
I’ve felt a little chided by this lesson because of late I haven’t been doing much writing. Yes, it’s holidays and yes, I am coming down from the Great Edit (which took more out of me than I anticipated) but I should still be writing. I think I’ve forgotten that I can just write stories for fun. I’ve forgotten how to write just for me without some grand project in mind.
Ah, this is what they mean when they say getting published is hard work. They don’t just mean getting there, they mean continuing to write with your imagination in tact.
I could take a page out of Chris Riddell’s book… And just write some stories. I may even write them long hand.
Serendipitously, I listened to a Writing Excuses podcast this week which pretty much says the exact same thing. It’s inspired me to have fun with it again.
There will be time for serious work in the new year but for now, I’m going to make some stuff with words.
P.S. Speaking of stories just for fun, have you downloaded my free collection of short stories from Noisetrade Books? You can download it here.