Monday, September 17, 2018

Getting Back on Track - 5 Tips

The end of summer has always meant the end of the vacation season so it is time to get back on track – and that means getting back into a writing schedule.  How can you do it when there is still so much to be done?  We’ve learned a few tips that can help:

1. Schedule your writing time. When we were working regularly often we made time before going to work. Or we knew certain time on the weekends was a good time to write. Either way, the time was already set aside and just like brushing your teeth at a certain time or watching TV at a certain hour, when the clock rolls around to that time you should be ready to write. Schedule half an hour or an hour, but schedule it!

      2.Write during your lunch hour. Do you regularly have plans or people you go with? If not, take your ipad or notebook and sit down at the lunch table with them beside you. We’ve heard plenty of writers say they even GO out to restaurants or coffee shops to get a break from home and write.
       Set a daily word-count and find the time to reach it. Sometimes, when things get hectic it is hard to find a set time to write, but if you set a certain word count every day, you might be able to get in some writing here and there, and then by the time evening comes you may find you only need to write one more page to reach your goal.
      3. Set up a writing group.  One thing that has worked for us is to meet a couple of friends at a coffee shop and we talk for half an hour and then we sit and write for the next hour. It means we will get some writing done every day and often one or two of us will stay on to get more writing done.

4. Take a writing getaway. This is one of my favorites. Starting 30 years ago when I would drag around portable typewriters, notebooks and laptops wherever I was going, I began spoiling myself with weekend getaways out of town. I finished writing my first book that way. I had a favorite hotel on the beach where I could sit by the window, feel the ocean breeze and type. (I’m sure it drove the others staying there crazy) I was more than happy when I could finally take a computer and do the same thing. The schedule called a morning walk on the sand, breakfast, writing, and finally dinner by the beach t and then more writing – that was a great way to spend a weekend. I’ve done the same in the mountains and even in busy cities--though my walking there was shopping. But the fun part was getting away and indulging the writing spirit.  

       5. Try a new writing method.  If you're just getting back in the groove, try a new method of writing. This is a good time to experiment with something you have been wanting to try. This summer at the RWA National Convention, I attended a class on Scrivenor, and it made me curious enough that I want to see how it works.  I'm also experimenting with Dragon Speak which is dictating the story instead of writing. 

Whatever it takes to get you going again can not only get more words written, but it might rejuvenate your writing process.  What have you got to lose?  And think of how much you have to gain!

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