Static writing: when you write often, but aren’t getting better.
The story ideas, the poetic concepts aren’t necessarily the problem. Style and what you try to accomplish with language is.
This is why critique groups are still important to the writer even after they are “good.” (Eventually, you no longer need them, but that’s another topic.)
After over a year working with a newspaper I’ve begun to realize it’s easy to slip into a state of static writing. The main reason is a weekly deadline, plus other responsibilities that I have aside from writing. This leaves me with an allotted amount of writing time, and that’s it.
If it’s a particularly busy week I have enough time to write the articles I’m in charge of, read over them once, maybe twice, and then submit them. They’re good articles, but I don’t often have the time to say ‘how can I make this even better.’
Occasionally, my editor will comment about something and then I’m more consciously aware of it and I work on it.
Those comments help break the static writing because it’s a form of critique. When weeks go by without any pointers It’s easy to stay on the same track. Without them I go into a routine, which creates static writing.
I’ve since made it a point to be more aware while I’m writing my articles so I can find things within it myself that I can make better. With deadlines, it’s not always possible, but when I am able, I feel like I’m growing as a writer and not just autopiloting week after week and not getting better.
One of the ways I’ve changed how I write my articles is with the leads. I’ll start my lead and then intentionally change it completely, even if I felt the first was really good.
Static writing is mostly going to happen when you’re forced to write the same things: papers, articles, etc.
The thing is, when you’re not growing as a writer you’re most likely declining without even realizing it.
The first step to overcoming static writing is to recognize it. A few months ago I would have told someone that I was learning a lot about writing because of how much I was having to produce. But what I produced started looking the same, and I finally decided I had to get over myself.
Time doesn’t always permit rapid growth for the writer, so work on one thing at a time when you’re able. This will give you at least a little bump of growth during a time when writing feels like a cycle.