In a previous post, found here http://blog.mormonletters.org/?p=4064 we discussed Solving the Mystery of Writing and Step #1 Finding Your Voice. Today I’m continuing my 6 Steps for Writing Success with #2 Make Writing a Priority/Write Every Day
If you’re going to be a writer, you have to make a decision based on the importance of this goal. Are you willing to give up something to attain this goal? Are you willing to sacrifice? As mentioned before, many people want to write a book, but only a scant portion of those are willing to give up their free time to buckle down and do it and then keep working to get it published. You don’t have to give up your life and become a hermit and live in the woods by yourself, but you probably will have to rearrange how you spend your time.
For me, I’m choosy about how I spend my time. I don’t watch much TV and I’ve learned to complete tasks quickly. I’m a stay at home mom with four young children and I like to garden, sew, make cards, attempt to keep a clean house, teach my six and nine year olds piano, and complete my church callings. I also help kids with homework, cook/prepare three meals every day, blog, promote my books, dabble with my website, READ, do laundry, change diapers…you get the picture, this is nothing new. But where do I find time to write? I have to create those writing windows because writing is a priority for me.
If writing is important enough to you, you’ll make a space for it in your busy life. If not, then ten years from now you may not have finished that book you started. There’s nothing wrong with that, if that is what you want. If it isn’t, then decide where your priorities are and move on to the next step of this writing tip.
Write Every Day
You’ve probably heard this before. You must write every day! Well, guess what? I don’t always get to write every day. In fact, last week I didn’t write anything on my new novel because I worked to finish up another revision on a different book. Does that mean I’m suddenly going to fail as a writer? No, it means that life has been a bit crazy and I’m working back into the groove of writing daily. The point I want to make here is that if you miss a few days of writing, don’t consider yourself a failure. Turn the computer back on, pick the pen back up and begin writing. You will hear so many rules in writing and sometimes I think people get bogged down by the rules and feel insecure if they’re not doing everything “right”.
Yes, you should make a goal to write every day. When I’m working steady on a novel, I feel a compulsive need to write every day and I can’t stop thinking about the thread of the story and where I want it to go. Often, my characters haunt me to finish their story and I’m compelled to run back to the computer and type out a few more lines. I love meeting my goal of 2,000 words a day, but I’m not going to beat myself up if it doesn’t happen because that doesn’t do me any good. I also allow myself a day off here and there. I don’t work on my novels on Sunday, instead I try to focus on journal-keeping and family history, but it’s amazing what that bit of writing exercise does for me!
So for this part of the tip, I’d like to suggest that you write every day or work on your story five days a week at least, be it research, outlining, revising, whatever–just work on your writing every day. If you can’t do that, stay positive and ask yourself what is possible for you at this stage in your life. The most important thing to remember is that every book is written the same way–one word at a time.
Writing is hard work! I wish you the best and encourage you to discover and complete your goals. Good luck!
How do you make writing a priority? How do you motivate yourself to write?