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Friday, September 14, 2012

Two Writing Excuses That Kill Your Novel – You May Be Using Them!


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The following is syndicated from Writing Off the Rails and is posted here with permission.

Not writing everyday is one thing that will surely kill your novel, but you may be shocked at how many people are still doing it.

If you use the seven tips in this post, it’s guaranteed to help you build a daily writing process - one that will help you consistently write on your blog or your novel.

I don’t have time to write is the one excuse that most kills a novel.

The truth is, we will never really have enough time to write. The key here is to make time to do it. Like all things we care about, we have to make sacrifices. Here are some easy-to-implement methods to make time and finally meet your writing goals.

  • Examine your appointments and activities now. Identify the wants that you can sacrifice, i.e. a movie with friends, a trip to the mall or something similar. You would be surprised at the number of things you can turn into time to write.
  • Alternatively, write at the off-times in a day. For most writers, this is either early in the morning or late at night. For me, I use early morning to write, and then late afternoon and evening to brainstorm ideas for my novel/blog post the next day. This helps create the routine writing process I was talking about earlier.
  • Carry a notebook around. If you always have it handy, any bit of time that’s available becomes writing time. It will also help create a constant list of ideas for your next works. Making this listing a habit will keep you topped up on inspirations for your writing.
  • Escape. This is my most radical method sometimes. When other places get hectic, I take my laptop, money for Starbucks and go to the café. You’d be surprised at how a change in environment can change your writing process.

I feel blocked – that’s the second killer excuse.

Writer’s block is the second thing that kills a novel. Even so, I feel like it has more to do with the wish to edit more than actually being blocked. The problem with a lot of writers is that they edit when they’re supposed to write. This is something writers will have to let go of if they want to let go of writer’s block.

If you feel free enough to write badly, you will always have something to write – this is the end of the block. Here are some tips to help you adjust your attitude to writing and to change your writing process.

  • Internalize the phrase shitty first draft. Be ready to write badly and embrace that – it’s the sign that you’re writing and allowing yourself to create your work with an open mind. If you can do that, everything you write is just another step to greater goals.
  • This is a practical tip that you may want to copy. I name my work-in-progress as Title + First Draft. For example, when I was writing Dark Redemption, I called it Dark Redemption – First Draft. Every look at the top of my MS Word document reminded me that it was the first draft. I could write freely, and that was a liberating experience.
  • Another practical tip, you may want to set yourself a timer. I have a timer on my laptop that plays a sound once time is up. I only set myself one hour of work at a time, which can remind you to just keep writing. I’ve found that this timer helps enormously with ending the want to edit.

Well, that’s it. There are the two things that kill your novel, and some tips to change your writing process. Do you guys have your own tips? Share in the comments.

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