After the troubles of the last few days in which I’ve had no idea what to post, I remembered a Kindle book I got a few weeks back. 30 Day Blogging Challenge. Fairly relevant seeing as how I’m six days into a challenge in which I will be blogging daily for 30 days… Anyway, this post is inspired by the second idea in the book.
Seems obvious, but you can’t succeed at writing if you don’t get words down. Some people describe writing as being like a muscle. You have to exercise it regularly for success. So even if what you’re writing isn’t the thing you’re struggling with, getting anything down, even if it’s only a few words, is better than nothing.
2. Get ahead.
This might be one of the most important tips. Getting ahead is a great help – having an unexpectedly busy day when you’re already 1000 words ahead, or when you’ve got a blog post or two in reserve, really takes the stress out of it. The same situation when you’re behind… well, it’s definitely not fun.
3. Find inspiration.
Whether its researching the kind of food your characters would eat, looking for ideas on how to progress your story, or hunting down prompts to give you ideas for what to blog about that day. Finding something to inspire you can be just the kick you need to stay on track.
4. Take a break.
If you’ve spent hours staring at the cursor blinking on the screen without having punched out more than a couple of words, it might be time to take a break. Maybe it seems counter-intuitive. And sure, it makes sense that if you need to get words written, you should be trying to write them. But you can’t force it. Sometimes the best thing to do is step back, take some room to breath, and come back to it in 20 minutes or so. What you do during your break is up to you. Perhaps take a shower, read a book, phone your mum. If you don’t want to take a complete writing break you could even just write something else. As they say, sometimes a change is as good as a break.
5. Enjoy it.
Yes, writing can be hard. It can be a slog. If you don’t enjoy what you’re writing, if it doesn’t interest you, then every word becomes a battle. If you have to fight to get every word out, then you are making it much too difficult to yourself. In this situation it’s good to follow tip number 4 – take a break. Stop trying to war with the words, and consider why it is you don’t enjoy it. Are you trying to force your characters into roles they don’t want to fit into? Are you writing a post about something that doesn’t interest you? Whatever the problem is, try to come up with a way to fix it, a way to make writing fun again. And then the words will start to flow once more.
And that concludes my tips for writing, and thus for surviving November. Or as I like to call it, Motivember. Maybe I’m not the best person to be giving advice – I’ve certainly struggled enough with writing myself. Perhaps I should follow my own advice!
Which tips do you find especially useful? Do you have any others to add?