01 Jan Happy New Year, Aspiring Authors!
Make 2021 the year you pursue your passion and make it the year you write regularly. If you’ve had trouble sticking to past writing resolutions, we hope the daily tips we’ll post during this next week will help. These tips work for procrastination in general and for writing specifically.
Set a writing goal that’s not intimidating. Writing 30 minutes a day or completing one page is a good start.
Ask someone close to you to hold you accountable DAILY for your writing goal. (Jennifer) Years ago I had a friend who called every night about 9:00 to ask if I’d written my page for the day. And Shirley Raye actually threatened my beloved beagle with harm if I didn’t shape up and meet my goals.
Remember that others are involved. We’re used to disappointing ourselves, but it’s harder to disappoint others who care about our dreams. (Jennifer) In the last posting, I told about a friend who used to call every night to ask if I’d written my page for the day. Sometimes I’d be eating dinner and realize I hadn’t written my quota. So after dinner, I’d rush to the computer so I could tell her I’d been good.
Get rid of as many distractions as possible. You know what helps you focus and what sidetracks you. Set yourself up to succeed in your daily quota.
Accept imperfection. Do you avoid writing because you’re not skilled enough or you don’t know how or where to start? One day jot down everything you can think of about the story you want to write. The next day write down anything you can think of about the main characters. On another day, you can write why you think your story would be interesting. The important thing is to write daily or almost daily and establish a habit.
Don’t forget to reward yourself. (Jennifer ) I have always hated to clean bathrooms. Years ago I would buy chocolate, and I only got to eat some after I cleaned a bathroom. You may need to use chocolate at first, but as you keep writing, you’ll find that fulfilling your goal is a reward in itself.
Just get a grip and do it. That’s certainly not original, but it works. Aren’t you tired of wanting to write and not doing it? Then just do it.
How to start? Where to start? We address these in our workbook. But whatever tools you use, get in the writing habit. As with any craft, we must practice regularly to hone our skills.