Don’t forget to write

Authors and writers hear it every day:  if you are to succeed as an author, you must market, research, critique, tweet, Facebook, create a brand, gain a following, attend seminars, learn how to write synopsis, pitch a book, query and edit.  You are also supposed to do all of this while attending to those little things in life like working, taking care of kids, going to school, exercising, etc.  Is it any wonder after taking care of all the above, you actually forget to write?

Here are a few tips that may be able to help fit some time in to actually put words to paper (or computer):

1.  Schedule a time to write.  If you work or go to school full-time, it may help to establish a regular time each day to write. Make an appointment with your writer self and treat it the same way you would any other appointment.

2.  Don’t be afraid to say No.  Time is a commodity writers can’t waste.  Don’t be afraid to tell your family, friends and neighbors you have to write.  That’s not to say writing should be the most important thing in your life, but you may want to consider, especially in the beginning, giving up that time for the most important things in your life.  Tell everyone, including friends and family, you’re writing a novel.  They’ll usually take an interest, AND give you the space you need to finish it.

3.  Don’t burn yourself out.  Many writers get the idea in their head they’re going to write the next Great American Novel in 30-days, and they go at it night and day for 2 weeks and give up because they’ve burned themselves from both ends. Don’t forget to sleep and eat right.  Exercise regularly (it does wonders to help sort out plots and shake the cobwebs from the head).  Indulge in a bubble bath.  Take a break and read.  Relax.

4.  Don’t over-think it.  Too many writers (me included) start out writing their novel and at the end of chapter 1, they go back and revise and revise again to the point chapter 2 is never written.  Stop with the editing.  Just write.  Always keep moving forward.  Don’t lose the momentum.  The novel will never be perfect so stop striving for it.  Concentrate on writing a great story you love.  Your authenticity will shine through and your readers will thank you.

5.  Identify your fear.  Is there a reason you are not writing on a regular basis?  Are you afraid to finish?  Are you afraid people won’t like your story?  Are you afraid of success?  Do you feel cramped?  Do you not have a good ‘writing space’?  Identify what prohibits you from writing and figure out ways to overcome it.  It may be as simple as having a few friends in your corner you can talk to and vent.  As soon as you can identify the reason(s) why you can’t write, the sooner you can figure out ways to overcome it/them.

6.  Lack of tools.  You may not have a laptop you can take with you wherever you go.  You may not be able to write as fast as your brain thinks.  You may not be able to read what you write, even if your hands can keep up with your thoughts.  Try getting a digital recorder.  If it’s your writing space that’s hindering your creative thoughts, look into changing up where you write.  Not enough peace and quiet?  Try going to a library or coffee-house.  Explore all avenues to find what works and is productive for you.

Whatever you do, set your mind and thoughts free, enjoy yourself, and don’t forget to write.

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