Writing everyday was once a dream of mine. I saw myself becoming the next great American author. Well that didn’t happen. Why? Because to become the next great American author you have to sit down and… ummm…. actually write. From that particular bump on the writing road, I made a few significant changes which have helped me be more consistent in writing daily.
Just like you would schedule a meeting with a client or coworker, put it on your daily schedule. Block it out so that others know you are, in fact, working. That means putting it on your Google calendar, Outlook, iCalendar, Filofax, fauxdori, or Midori. Whatever you use to track your life, put it on there and then be protective of it. You are the mother bear and that writing time is your cub.[iconheading type=”h2″ style=”glyphicon glyphicon-list-alt” color=”#dd5d5d”]Tip 2 – Have A Plan[/iconheading]
Whether you are a pantser or outliner, you need to have an idea of what you’ll be writing before you start. That gives you a goal and focuses your time. So if you’re journaling, have a prompt ready. There are tons of prompts available today. Take a look at ListersGottaList, 365 Journal Prompts, or Writing Forward’s journal prompts. Maybe your writing a chapter of your new book? Have an outline of your scenes ready to go. Another trick is to take ten minutes to outline the scene you are working on. Rachel Aaron shows you how she went from 2000 words to 10,000 words doing that.[iconheading type=”h2″ style=”glyphicon glyphicon-pencil” color=”#dd5d5d”]Tip 3 – Choose Your Weapon[/iconheading]
Don’t dither about what you’re going to write with. Choose your writing medium before you start but don’t let it stop you. Seriously, it’s the worst kind of procrastination when you can’t decide what you’re going to write with or on. There are some people who can’t seem to get anything done without a specific notebook or fountain pen. Don’t be one of them. While it’s wonderful to have those tools, don’t use it as a reason to not write. For example, I have a notebook I write in with my favorite pen but my ideas come to me while I’m in the shower. Not a good place for my writing set. However, I do have a cell phone that I record my ideas into (after the shower, people. I’m not stupid). When I have time, and a cup of coffee, I transfer my thoughts over to my preferred medium.[iconheading type=”h2″ style=”glyphicon glyphicon-book” color=”#dd5d5d”]Tip 4 – Have a Goal[/iconheading]
Similar to having a plan but this is more about where you want to end up, rather than how you’re going to get there. Think of it as writing at the macro level, not the micro level. Anyway, think about what you are writing. Your goal will be different depending on your genre, purpose, or audience. SMART goals might be a bit of overkill but writing something similar might help focus your attempts at writing. Justin MacLachlan has a great article for authors on setting SMART goals with examples.[iconheading type=”h2″ style=”glyphicon glyphicon-thumbs-up” color=”#dd5d5d”]Tip 5 – Get Excited[/iconheading]
We all get discouraged. We can even dread writing. Remember the last term paper you had to write in high school or college? I do and it wasn’t the highlight of my scholastic career. It might not have been of yours either. On the other hand, I’ll drop everything to make pretty envelopes or stationery for my pen pals. It’s something I enjoy and look forward to. Do you see where I’m going with this? You want that kind of excitement for writing, no matter what kind of writing you are doing. So how do you get excited? Especially if you have hit a writer’s block?
Try these tricks to get excited about writing again:[list] [li type=”glyphicon-arrow-right”]Brainstorm with other authors. There’s nothing quite like bouncing ideas off of other creative people. They might see something about your story that you don’t.[/li] [li type=”glyphicon-arrow-right”]Write something else. Non-fiction writers, go write a fairy tale. Fiction writers, report the news. Do something that is not in your genre as a way to clear you rmind and get a new perspective.[/li] [li type=”glyphicon-arrow-right”]Take a break. Sometimes you focus so hard that you lose the forest for the trees. It will be waiting for you when you come back.[/li] [li type=”glyphicon-arrow-right”]Free write for ten minutes. Just let the words flow. Don’t direct it. When you’re done, work on your writing project.[/li] [li type=”glyphicon-arrow-right”]Identify why you aren’t excited about writing anymore. Is it something you can fix?[/li] [li type=”glyphicon-arrow-right”]Remember why you began to write in the first place.[/li] [li type=”glyphicon-arrow-right”]Suck it up and keep writing, even if your prose sucks. You can edit it later, after you’ve finished writing.[/li] [/list]
The point of all of this is to get writing. Some days it can be difficult to sit down and write. Jobs, family,school, Facebook. Time sucks abound in our lives. Carving out five minutes for yourself really is important if you want to write.
So, do you write on a consistent basis? Leave your tips and tricks in the comments!
[toggles class=”yourcustomclass”] [toggle title=”Image Credit” class=”in”]Featured Image Source: Chris Greene
Post Image Source: Richard Mallinson[/toggle] [/toggles]