Use It or Lose It

In this piece I ask, do we need to turn up to our page each day?

Use it or lose it, is a phrase that is often heard in relation to having learnt something new, and retaining what has been learnt. It is also said in regard to our brain, to keep it sharp, tackling cross-words / word searches or puzzles daily is a wonderful exercise. 

But when it comes to writing, does it apply? If you do not sit and write each day will your creativity be any less? This thought came to me at about two a.m. in the morning when it appears that’s when most inspiration strikes for writers. I had not written daily for a few weeks now and I wondered if this would affect my writing ability. Would I get back to my routine with my laptop, spilling my thoughts on to the screen easily enough or would I struggle with it all.

So do I agree with the use it phrase or not?

I do not believe my creativity in storytelling will disappear if I do not write daily. I do feel however, it loses its shine. If I haven’t put pen to paper or tapped on my keyboard each day, then my words and thoughts flow slower. They are sluggish, reluctant to appear. My thoughts and ideas are still there, but they emerge in a more meandering way. They enjoy making me work for abandoning them, so it feels.

Whereas if I give a dedicated time to my writing and turn up each day to face the blank page, then my words rush out, at times faster than I can write or type them. There’s never a moment without some plot twist or character action or a story idea in a writer’s mind, it is unending. But as I said earlier, these ideas do not play fair with a writer if they have not interacted with each other for a while.

So yes, it is important to use your writing talent each day, no matter for fifteen minutes or a few hours. Go meet your page, face it and make those ideas and characters come out to play with you. If you only make notes or a list, it is turning on the tap of words. Otherwise you will have many a sleepless night, sorry you didn’t write it all down.

Happy writing.


Published by marytbradford

Family is important to Mary and her writing reflects the ups and downs of it all, and what people go through daily. She has been writing short stories for several years and enjoys success with her fiction in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies both in Ireland and abroad, namely Germany, India, and the US. Her stories have been both short/long listed in various competitions. It was because of this success, Mary took the plunge and self-published her first collection of stories titled, A Baker’s Dozen (2012). When one of her stories kept growing she ended up with her first published novel, My Husband's Sin. This novel turned into a trilogy, with book 2, Don't Call Me Mum, and book 3, No More Secrets following it. Her latest novel, To Live With A Stranger, is based on her Grandmother's country cottage and is a firm favourite with readers. Mary continues to write novels, novellas, and short stories, dabbling too in playwrighting. In 2019, Mary attended the University of Limerick and studied for a MA in Creative Writing, receiving First Class Honours. When taking a break from writing and reading Mary loves to crochet. Living in County Cork, Ireland, she is married and is a mother of four children. Having overcome open heart surgery in 2008, Mary made the decision to dedicate more time to her writing. With her children raised and starting to spread their wings, this became possible. Now, Mary is also a Nana, a role that brings her happiness and lots of love.

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