Tag Archives: daily writing goals

Week Two

Today marks the end of the second week of the 365 Writing Challenge during which I’ve written 2,878 words, which is a huge improvement on last week and I’ve even submitted two short stories for publication. Fingers crossed they’re well received!

I’m currently half way through writing my 4th contest entry for Fantasia Divinity Magazine & Publishing, which is proving to be an interesting little tale, just as the last three have been.

My scores are even half way decent and I’m holding my own quite well it seems.

All in all a good week, writing wise. I hope to be as productive next week.

I promise I’ll keep you all posted.

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Week One

I’m writing this retroactively, because it’s just ticked over to January 8th.

In December, I signed up for the 365 Writing Challenge. It’s something I’ve participated in for a few years now, but this year I’m determined to write every day. It’s something I haven’t quite managed to accomplish in previous years.

It’s the first week and I set myself a goal of 300 words a day. So far, it’s not going well. I wrote 1,296 words out of 2,100. But I did manage to write a little each day, so that’s a huge plus and ultimately what I set out to do. Write each day.

Fingers crossed I do better during week two.

Writers Block and How to Prevent it

062A0903-0290-4E84-A776-FDB4140EB813.jpegI come across a lot of writers complaining about writers block. They seem to all have one thing in common. How do you overcome it, and even better: How do you prevent it in the first place?

Firstly, some tips to overcome to overcome writers block.

– Go for a walk. A change of scenery and fresh air often brings about new ideas.

– Read a book. Often reading a book written by someone else is enough to trick the mind and get you in the mood to write again.

– Listen to music. Instrumental or songs with lyrics. Either can work.

– Create a routine. I’ve spoken of this before. Writing daily creates a habit, which in turn creates a want to write. A desire to write.

– Journal. Keeping a journal, while not fiction, is still writing and may help banish your creative block. At best, if it doesn’t banish your block, it will help clear your head.

Secondly, some tips on how not to overcome writers block.

– Television. It’s such a mindless activity but I do enjoy several tv shows. So to compensate I watch tv a little less. Or I write while watching tv.

– Refusing to write. While inspiration is one thing, you have to write something. Otherwise the well will just dry up. Don’t just wait around for you muse. Force her to show up.

– Procrastinating. Putting off writing is also not the way to overcome writers block. It’s the way to avoid it completely and counterproductive.

Lastly, the way to prevent writers block is quite simple. Really it is.

Pick up your pen (or go sit at your computer) and write.

And, if you’re still not convinced, try it.

Write about a memory. Write about something you saw while shopping… a person you met. Anything, as long as you write and don’t stop, stick with it. Because  if you love writing, if it’s what truly drives you then it’s better to write something than nothing at all.

 

 

 

Opening Lines, Part 2

C13EDC35-82FF-4ACD-9A70-9F7BC20842B7.jpegEarlier this month I shared a story prompt with you all. I hope it gave some of you some inspiration to start something new, as it did for me.

I wasn’t planning on starting anything new but this is what happened when I sat down to write.

I knew that sound. Dragons. They were flying directly above, their wings beating rhythmically against the wind.
I looked up, the dragon itself was unrecognisable from my spot on the hill.
As it circled over head, I knew landing was imminent. 

It’s the beginning of Book 9, Ironheart, which centres around the daughter of Lancelot and Guinevere. Both of whom are dead at this point in the timeline.

I know, I know, for those of you who know anything of the Arthurian Legends, you’ll know that Lancelot and Guinevere never got their happily ever after. But they did have a long lasting affair. This is a play on that. I’m a big fan of what if’s in my novels.

I can’t give too much more away without spoiling it. Other than to say their daughter winds up at the residence of the Lady of the Lake and while there Vivienne being Vivienne meddles in things she has no right to meddle in. A girl’s future. Which brings a tonne of drama and old characters resurface etcetera. I’d been looking for a happily ever after for one of my minor characters, who until recently I thought was going to end up sad and alone, but I think he just might be the fix for Vivienne’s meddling ways.

We’ll see, it’s all subject to change at this point.

 

 

It All Starts With Coffee

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Yes, it’s true! I’m a coffee addict. Like you didn’t know.

So, by now, it’s no secret… or at least I hope it’s no secret, that I write every day. Some days not as much as others, but I do write daily.

It’s not something I’ve always done. In fact, it took me two years to make the habit stick and it wasn’t easy.

Now, I’m not going to tell you what to write… that part is up to you. Blog, novel, short story… journal? Whatever. Nor am I going to give you story ideas… although, that might make for an interesting series of blog posts sometime in the future.

For now though, let’s get back to developing daily writing habits.

Decide what you want to work on. Is it a short story or a novel? Does it have a deadline? How many words is it?

Break it down. And keep your daily word count target small. There’s nothing more overwhelming then setting a daily goal of a 1000 words and falling short because you were so caught up in writing ALL THE WORDS. Trust me, small is better.

Take my goal for instance. In January I set a goal to write 275 words a day. Some days I write more, others I write less, but in six months I’ve never missed a day.

I know many writers who churn out upwards of 5,000 words one day and then don’t write for days afterwards. I don’t get it. I mean, each writer’s writing process is different but I’d much rather see the progress on the page, bit my bit, than multiple zeros on a spreadsheet. But then, I also like accountability. I like seeing proof of my progress.

Make time. I cannot stress this enough. Even ten minutes. My biggest time saver when stealing time for writing is my iPhone. I often find I’m more productive if I just use the notes app, but I have MS Word on there too and I save everything to OneDrive, so its all right there waiting for me to pick it up the next day on whichever device I choose to work with.

You’re probably sitting reading this and going but I don’t have time, right? Wrong. Back in April I felt the exact same way. I asked other writers how I could fix it. How I could up my productivity and stop procrastinating. I’m time poor. I have four kids and a husband, along with a house to take care off. Something had to give, and it couldn’t be any of those three big things. Family is important.

So, what did I do? Well I began tracking my time for a whole week. 7 days. It made me accountable to the house, the kids and my husband, and I soon saw a pattern forming and I was able to identify blocks of time where I could write.

Back in May, I posted this about finding time and while it’s not a concise picture of every day of the week, it is a rough idea of what a week day looks like for me. It’ll likely change when I get a part time job, becoming even crazier, I suspect, but I’ll deal.

So, I made time. Two hours at night. And not every night mind you. Some days I blow off writing at night in favour of TV and when I do I make up the words in other ways. By blogging, for instance. Yes, I multitask.

Pick one project. You don’t have to do everything at once. I have… three, no four novels on the go at the moment. I switch between all of them depending on the day and my mood. It helps me to keep the story fresh. And tricks my mind into thinking I’m working on something new, even though I’m clearly not.

And, I could go on, but I won’t. So… if you think there’s something I’ve missed or you have a question, pop it in a comment and I’ll be sure to reply.