Last week’s post dealt with 2015 writing goals; this week, how to achieve those goals–producing 500-1,000 words a day, every day, all year long.
I work full time, a 9-5 customer service job (an actor with a headset) Monday through Friday. My limited writing time is precious to me; I have to make the most of the two hours I give myself before darkness shifts to morning gray.
I have learned that if left unchecked, the creative journey can be an unsettling trek through thick woods where enticing paths veer off left and right, threatening to derail from the main task. I cannot afford a meandering journey; neither can you.
Here are my 6 rules for using the limited time to get the most writing on any given day.
1. Guard your writing time. I choose early in the morning before the household wrestles from sleep. A cup of coffee heats while my computer boots, I settle in and reread the last section written the prior day–a quick review catapults me into the new day’s session.
2. Do not go online. No email, no news, no blog following, Nothing. This is writing time.
3. Keep those fingers moving, tapping the keys, forming words, sentences, paragraphs, pages–let the tale in your head take over. Writing is a form of exercise, and like any plan to better your health, prolonged consistency is key to a better you. And just like physical exercise, it gets easier the more you do it. If stuck, here are a couple ideas on Defeating Writer’s Block.
4. Do not leave the manuscript to search out a better word, find the perfect character name, or check on the spelling of impervious. When I am writing and reach a part I am not sure about, I will bracket a word or note within the text (document) to remind me to come back to it (the writing) during revision (rewrite)–this way, I do not lose the momentum during writing time.
5. Set up a simple filing system, whether on the computer or physical files, so that when not engulfed in writing mode, you can easily find what you need to implement into the story or article, novel or book. I begin with a main folder, Working Title, and within that folder is contained everything pertaining to the project: work in progress document, outline, story calendar, maps, and anything else deemed worthy. Within the main Working Title folder are housed other folders: Background, Character Sketches, Historical information–both real and inherent to my created world–Notes and Snippets.
6. Follow the plan. This is normally the outline where you note the troubles imposed upon your characters, the obstacles each must face, the ebb and flow of the plot.
If you follow these six suggestions, you will get more writing done, feel better about yourself because of it, and find yourself smiling more. Try it, and let me and others know any tricks you have.
This Week’s Quote:
“Don’t write to become famous or to make a lot of money. Write because you love it. Write because not writing for more than a few days feels like you have abandoned a puppy in a mineshaft. Save the puppy.” – Joe Beernink
This Week’s Links: