Friday, February 15, 2013

Two tips for beginning writers

If you want to be a writer you have to write every day. Easier said than done. Chances are you have a job, or family or both. There are a bunch of other things that you have to do and your desire to write goes unfulfilled. So how do you go about cultivating a writing habit?

I'm not published, yet. But I am a writer. I have written over 150,000 words in two novels and a novella. I write every day and I have for the last five months. Last year there were several months when I did not write every day. I thought about it and wanted to write every day but just couldn't find the time. Then in September I started using two simple tools that helped me cultivate a writing habit that I am proud of.

Here are my two best tips for cultivating a new writing habit.

 1. Use your calendar. If  you really want to write schedule the time in your calendar. Ideally you would be able to find an hour every day but for the begginer that might be tough. Even if you wind up scheduling and hour 3-5 times per week it will help develop the new habit. The time blocked for writing needs to be just as important as the time you block for going to the gym, grocery shopping, meeting friends for drinks and any other "must do" items.

 2. Set a timer. When I first started wtiting every day I set a timer for 30 minutes. It allowed me to write and focus completely on the story and getting the words on the page. I never had to worry about missing the next appointment or taking time from the other things I had to do that day. I still use the timer but the length varies from thirty minutes to sixty minutes. Every single time the timer goes off I wish I had more time. It makes me want to come back tomorrow and not miss a minute.

That should do it. If you follow these two tips for a week or two the writing habit will become fully established. Once you've developed the writing habit you can start to look at improving your writing.

Are you going to establish a new writing habit?

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