Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could go door-to-door on Halloween and get loaded up with insight from writers??? In some ways, that’s the internet–streets and houses chock-full of free goods. And until we’ve visited a particular house–website/blog, etc.–we don’t know what we’ll get. Some offer the BEST goods; so great, we return for more, share memorize their addresses and share them with friends. (“Dude, that house has king size Symphony bars!”) Others we wish we’d bypassed. (“A toothbrush? Are you serious?”)
But maybe you hate chocolate. (Ouch, that hurt.) Or have a…minty fresh breath fetish. What works for and pleases one writer’s appetite may not work or please another. That’s just one of the many beautiful things about this business.
A few WRITING TRICKS that work for me:
Make writing a high priority. Many of us struggle to balance writing and other responsibilities. My career took off once I made it a top priority. This meant sacrificing work opportunities I cared less about, at the risk of making less money, turning my ringer off during writing time and saying “no” to social functions that felt obligatory. As it turned out, this led to my making more money through writing. (Do what you love and love what you do, right? It pays off.)
Set and stick to deadlines. As a journalist, many of my deadlines are built in. Applying the same practice to my fiction does wonders for my productivity and work quality. (Creative juice can kick into high gear under pressure.) Deadline keeping also brings a level of professionalism that appeals to agents, publishers, editors and other industry professionals.
**Tip: If you have trouble holding yourself to self-concocted deadlines, join or start a critique group that requires x-number of pages per week or month. Or pal up with another writer. Just as gym buddies tend to exercise more successfully than unenthused singles, knowing a friend is expecting your work and bringing theirs is hugely motivating. Just don’t pick a friend who’s laxer than you.
Read. A LOT. Like Stephen King says in his fantastic book, On Writing, “if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time (or the tools) to write.” I’m always amazed when an aspiring, usually stuck, writer tells me they don’t read. And it happens fairly often. Write because you love writing, but because you loved reading first.
BLOG TREATS (Chock-full of tips for writers!)
If you enjoy the posts below, consider subscribing, following, posting comments, “liking,” Tweeting and/or emailing them about the cyber-sphere. Supporting their creators will inspire them to keep inspiring you and others. And you’ll be amazed at how much support and even friendship you may get in return. Enjoy!
Nathan Bransford’s Blog
Page Critique Thursday: The Importance of Staying with Your Character
Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
Conference Consternation by Michael Bourret
Writers in the Storm
Critique Groups: How to Find Your Dream Team
Novel Rocket: Getting Your Book off the Ground
5 Books You Should Own by Gina Holmes
The Renegade Writer
The Number One Thing Holding You Back From Freelance Success
The Writers Help
Easy Writing Ingredients by Jackie Paulson
NaNoWriMo Prep IV: Ten Gems O’ Wisdom You Should Probably Ignore During NaNoWriMo by Lynn Viehl
Any tricks or treats you’d like to share??? I’d love to hear them.