I truly love writing… most of the time. But it is like exercise, it is something that has to be done regularly (if you are an aspiring writer) and it is not always enjoyable. Last week was hard for me. All it takes is one emotional blow or a bad day at work and the last thing I want to do is sit down and get my daily writing done. It can easily become an internal fight.
So, I put together this post to jam out some writing and share 10 tips to help you commit to the writing groove.
1. Start a blog. I’m starting to understand why virtually all bloggers, unapologetically, recommend that everyone, yes, I mean EVERYONE, should start a blog. I’m starting to agree. The blog holds me accountable both to my practice and to my readers. It also is my favorite form to hash out new ideas.
2. Create an editorial calendar. This is where beginning bloggers fall short. It is terribly difficult to maintain a consistent content stream when you first start out because you have to adapt to a new routine. It is even harder to maintain an unorganized content stream. However, consistency is what brings loyal readers back and helps you find your voice. As I continually shape my calendar, I find I’m also shaping the aesthetic and feel of the blog along with my writing voice. Even if you aren’t going to start a blog, setting content goals for yourself will get you writing about a wider range of topics.
3. Find a place designated for writing….maybe even exclusively so. I understand not everyone has an extra desk lying around. For me, it is my kitchen table. I live in a studio and often find myself having epic battles of discipline if I am anywhere near a bed. After an hour of writing, my mild case of ADD sets in and I’m crusading around looking for anything to do other than sit in my desk like, say, take a nap. My kitchen however, has a partial wall that blocks me from the bedroom. I find I’m a lot more focused and sometimes even inspired once I sit down. Since I write there regularly, I think my brain and I have come to an understanding that writing is what happens there.
6. Buy a nice pen or notebook. Don’t always write on the computer. It is tempting I know. Some of my best writing happens during those magical paper + pen sessions. Plus these are your tools. Honor them while treating yourself to some great office supplie.
7. Keep a small notepad in your bag or purse. Sometimes inspiration takes over, especially in the beginning once you start unlocking the door to your most inner thoughts. You don’t want to get caught with a brilliant idea on the bus with no way of catching it.
8. Diversify. I am almost exclusively a memoirist and non-fiction writer. Lately, I started writing short fiction pieces once a week and I am really enjoying it. I had no idea such weird stories existed inside my head! I also would like to think that they are helping me become a more descriptive and well rounded writer.
9. Set a calendar reminder. Or designate a time of day you write. First thing when you get up? Right before you go to bed? Whatever works best for you. Routine is what makes the world go round.
10. Lastly, join a writers group. I have one here in Pittsburgh. They meet once a week. I have learned to love them. We workshop one another's work. Don’t shy away from constructive criticism. It’s scary, trust me, I know but it is also necessary for improvement.The thing about writers groups is that the attendees are writers too. They understand the struggle. For every criticism there is a compliment. The best is when people start arguing over your work.
I hope you find this helpful. How do you get in the writing groove?