A new writer in my writer’s group wanted to know tricks to getting the writing done. Here is the advice I gave to her.
Here is what I think about getting the writing done.
- Embrace the life. Some of the best advice I was ever given for being a cook is you need to embrace the life. Weekends, holidays, late nights etc. I think that applies for us writers. We work alone, no one who is not a writer understands us, re-writes, rejection slips, 1,000,00 to one of making this a living. Therefore, I do it for fun. And then I hope I can earn a few bucks out of it. If you are having a good time, then you find yourself at the computer working on your craft. I do not put a lot of stock into the tortured writer syndrome. My writing heroes (Stephen King, Arthur Conan Doyle, Louis L’Amour, Stan Lee) all loved to write, wanted to be writers above all else and put the time in.
- I find a deadline helps. Once I know what day I need to be done by, I can break it apart in my mind. I almost always write from beginning to end but if I get stuck and know another part of the story or article, I will write that and then fill in the blanks.
- Word Count: I love keeping a word count, but I don’t like saying I will write a thousand words a day. But it does work.
- The “Jerry Seinfeld” method. Jerry says the best way to make progress is to hang a calendar and put an “X” in the block. Once you get that chain of “X’s” going you are not going to want to break the chain. I like this method until I miss a day then I am always sad and sometimes it is hard to get back in the saddle.
- Competition. I like friendly competition and that is why I like the Fredrickson Write’s Group. When someone publishes something, I think, “Where is my piece?” So, it pushes me because I don’t want to be at the back of the pack with nothing going on. I call myself a writer so I feel I should have a W.I.P. (work in progress) and a body of work to point to. Which is what is cool about a Writer’s Group. You will come up to present which means having some pages done and before you know it you will have a story completed and then on to the next one. When I look back over my last five years here, I completed twenty stories which in my mind is less then I want but realistically more than I would have had if I was not a part of a writer’s group. Hope this helps. Semper Scribere!