As a writer?
You're laughing right now and I totally get it.
One of the many beautiful things about writing is that there are endless outlets and tricks that work for every writer. Which means you can be as unique as you want to get your greatest outcome.
The biggest thing for you to remember is:
DON'T BE AFRAID! Just write!
"Start writing, no matter what.
The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on."
There are infinite obstacles for writers, and they are almost all entirely created by the writer themselves. Fear during writing will birth more setbacks than your computer getting ruined because your toddler thought it would be fun to spill their juice on the keyboard . . . Guaranteed.
Do not give in to the voice in your head saying you need to organize your closet or do the yard work that you would never touch otherwise. Once you sit down to write, SIT DOWN and WRITE. Your time to write needs to be just that and nothing else. Watch out for your buzzing phone giving you Twitter notifications. Beware of those cat videos on Youtube (no matter how cute they are!). Dedicate the time to being creative!
Using noise canceling headphones, run your errands before writing, and sometimes even exercising before sitting down to let those creative juices flow can be great ways to center yourself to do the damn thing!
How do you keep yourself accountable?
Some days . . . hell, some weeks . . . it can be nearly impossible to put time aside to write. Working a full-time job, being a parent, or being tired in general can make writing more of a chore than an experience.
There are countless tips fellow writers will give to help you stay on your game, so find what helps you get to that computer!
-Easily the most important factor in writing is believing in your work.
If you don't love what you're writing, you may not be able to finish your book. If you manage that, your readers will be able to tell that you didn't put your heart and soul into the piece. Love your story and don't even think about starting to write until you are giddy about crafting your new world! Besides, if you're not in love with the storyline, then that probably means something is missing.
-Write at the same time every day (morning, evening, late-night)
Getting into routine can change your writing world. There are even groups on Twitter, for example, who get up with the early birds at 5am and encourage each other to write each morning before the sun comes up.
-Dedicate a certain time period to write
Tell yourself that you have to keep those fingers moving on the keyboard for 30 minutes. Those 30 minutes seem small, but can EASILY turn into an hour, or two, or three!
-Give yourself a word minimum
Tell yourself that each time you sit down you have to write 1,000 words, for example. There is a HUGE writing program called NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month) which encourages writers to write a book within just one month! These determined authors give themselves a word count they have to hit every single day to reach the 50,000 word goal by the end of the month. It's a great way to test yourself as a writer!
-Get in the right mood
Many people have to have just the right environment to get a lick of writing done. Find what space makes you most excited to write. That can be a park, your favorite local coffee shop, or even that cozy little corner in your bedroom. Sometimes all you need is music to fit the mood of your writing, a dark room lit with Christmas lights, and a tea to get you prepared! You can even get a little creative with your space and get candles of famous authors and poets to help "guide" you in your writing journey. I myself have an Edgar Allen Poe candle that makes me very excited to write!
-How do you write?
There's no algorithm for writing. Do what feels right! If you're stuck and drowning in the disease that is Writer's Block, skip the scene. Skip the chapter. Skip the next ten chapters! Find a part of your story that thrills the hell out of you, and maybe write a scene from that section to warm you up. Take a break from physically writing to story board, draw out your characters, or anything else that can bring your book to life and get you excited to go back to the keyboard.
Sometimes it's nice to have something physical near you that represents your story. For my very first book, the girl loved the smell of peppermint. Someone had gifted me peppermint lotion at the time, so I always kept that by me to smell whenever I was having trouble with a scene to keep me connected. With my book, King Beatrice, one of the characters is gifted a Diptych Sundial. I found one online and didn't hesitate to get one ASAP. Being able to fiddle with that during the writing process really helped keep me grounded with the story. Find something that can connect you with the story, and keep it near you while you write!
-Find your tribe!
The online writing community is INCREDIBLE! With so many different apps, you have a sea of options to find like-minded people who will encourage, inspire, and help you. There are niches on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and the list goes on and on and on, all full of people who are there wanting to excite fellow authors!
Earlier we talked about NaNoWriMo. If you choose to partake in that, there's an incredible group of writers who will inspire you and help you along the way! There's also groups who will go on camping trips to prepare for NaNo, and they will also do an editing month in December to help patch up the novella written in November.
Writing shouldn't be a chore. Discover what tricks help keep you inspired to write all the time!
What do you do to keep yourself writing?
Or, what do you feel keeps you from writing?