These are just a few simple tips that will help you in your writing.
Get Other Things Done First
If you have something else that needs doing and it can be done first, just do it. Especially if you might be chased about it from a family member.
It can be better to start writing without that chore/requirements etc having over you. If you promised to walk the dog, or mow the lawn or do the laundry, do it.
If you didn’t promise and nothing is going to get chased, that’s fine. Don’t give people a reason to interrupt you.
Hide Yourself Away
I’ve mentioned it before but I cannot stress enough the importance of having a place to write. If you can steal a spare room, turn a cupboard into a cubbie-hole office, do it.
Create that area for your writing. Then go there and lock everyone else out when you plan to write.
Let everyone know you are not to be disturbed unless the house is on fire or the zombie apocalypse has started.
If you can get or make a “Do Not Disturb” sign to hang on your door, this is a good idea especially for all those forgetful family members who may just interrupt you three hours in.
Writing is a marathon sport. Most writers are long haul writers (sit and write for hours at a time), in that case you need to think “comfort.”
Don’t skrimp on a uncomfortable chair. If possible, treat yourself to a really good comfortable chair. The type you know you can sit in for hours.
Consider what you need:
- Would armrests be good or not?
- Should it tilt?
- What about a wing back chair for better head support?
I highly recommend buying one from a store where you have the ability to sit in it and get a feel for it. Buying online is great but just because something looks comfy in a photo, doesn’t mean it is.
Also, make sure you are set up right. Do you write on a laptop? Maybe get a laptop stand so the screen is at eye level and buy a separate keyboard and mouse. Better yet, use a separate monitor so you have a larger display (especially good if your laptop has a small screen).
Plan Your Writing
Avoid wasted time and frustration by planning what you want to write. This is especially good if you are doing a long haul day. Free writing can be fun, but if it doesn’t come you can be left sitting and stewing.
You will write better and for longer if you have something ready to write. Maybe it’s a character profile, an active scene, a history scene, a full chapter, a smattering of dialogue etc. It doesn’t matter, usually once you’ve written something it triggers more.
Focus On A Clear Idea
In relation to the above, if you have an idea go for the strongest one first. Don’t fall victim to feeling you need to write the very beginning first.
If you have a scene in your head that you know is half way through the story, just write it. If it’s been bouncing around in there it needs to come out. Get it out while you remember it.
Sometimes just getting these intense ideas out frees up more thinking time and brain-room for more ideas and maybe that beginning chapter will finally appear.
Don’t Stop for Something Small
Can’t think of a name for a minor character you just brought on and who is talking to your protagonist? Don’t stop and think for ages of the perfect name, just put NAME or X etc in bold or in red or in brackets and just crack on.
You can fix / sort those pesky bits out later. Your non-writing time can be used for thinking up the right name or coming up with other smaller detail that can be added later. If it doesn’t slow down the plot, let it out and come back to it. The trick is to keep the flow going while you can.
Write Manageable Chunks
The way I write is by scenes not chapters. Since most of my chapters are broken into different scenes and will sometimes hop between one group of characters and another, I write my work in scenes then piece them together.
Don’t get swept up trying to complete whole chapters if you’re struggling. Just focus on scenes that you know and get them completed.
It’s also a good idea to leave the word count too. If it really works for you fine, but be aware that word count goals can sometimes be constrictive.
Not everyone finds them helpful, don’t just assume you will. Not sure? Try using word count goals for one week, and in the next week don’t. See which worked best for you.
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Thanks for your patience everyone and I’m sorry for the delay, this week has been a little anxiety-inducing and sometimes it’s just too much.
There should be a guest blogger post up on Tuesday so do make sure you pop back then.
As always thank you for your views, faves, follows and comments. It’s really nice to know people are enjoying this blog and I love hearing from you – whether it’s here, or on Twitter (@AriMeghlen) or Facebook (writerarimeghlen)