Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Writing Tips for the Bump on a Log Inside

1. Exercise. I'm currently in a health competition with some family members, so I've been exercising a lot lately. Partly for prize money, but mostly for the sake of the poor jeans I've been squeezing my motherly thighs into. Guess what has been increasing along with my max number of push-ups (currently about eleven ... sheepish). My number of words written a day! My brain feels better and I feel more motivated in all areas when I exercise.

No more lounging in my sherpa boots! Jillian would kill me.

2. Rachel Portman station on Pandora. Excellent soundtrack for my historical novel. Find the soundtrack to what you're writing and play it while you work. It keeps me focused and inspired.

Rachel looks like a writer. Mus be the cardigan.

3. The "Don't Stop" Rule. I feel one of the biggest hurdles I face while writing is my tendency to write a sentence ... hit a blank ... and then go surf the internet for ten minutes because I "deserve a break." It's ridiculous and fueled in part by my silly desire to have a perfect first draft, and also in part by my lazy and easily distracted nature. Worst distractions: Facebook and blogs (two great literary agent blogs, by the way: pubrants.blogspot.com and bookendslitagency.blogspot.com). Lately I've been self-enforcing the "Don't Stop" rule ... meaning I don't stop writing. I worry more about getting it down instead of how I'm getting it down. That's what my second draft is for. This is really helping me move along in my first draft, it increases my confidence that I can get it done, and sometimes what comes out of my head, unrevised, isn't so bad after all.

NOT the soundtrack to my novel.

4. Having a set time to write. While I don't keep this religiously by any means, I try to write from 8-9pm. Nathan has graciously agreed to help me set aside this time, and that helps a lot. Waiting until I have absolute free time to write meant never writing. Yes, there are dishes in the sink (smelling pleasantly like curry coconut shrimp), but I'm 1,500 words closer to being J.K. Rowling. Ha!

Coolest watch I ever owned. My parents gave it to me for my birthday. They put it on my wrist while I was sleeping and I didn't notice until I was eating breakfast. Nathan won't let me buy a replacement online for $20. Boo. Actually, he just told me to think about it for a couple days. Here is the link in case I forget.

5. Concept Map. I made these in eighth grade biology--they are basically a visual representation of your subject (my novel, in this case). Seeing the whole plot laid out in front of me helps get me excited about the scope of my work, see holes and opportunities in my plot, and plan future scenes.

What helps you write?


  1. Is the watch broken? lost? Glad you are writing again - when can we see what you have been up to?
    Thanks to Nate for helping with the endeavor.
    little hugs. little kisses. big hug. big kiss. little hug.

  2. who are you in a competition with?

  3. Moohair-I thought I saved the watch, but I don't remember seeing it when I packed up all my stuff from our house. :(

    Katie-Mom, Robbi, Nate, and me. We're in week two.

  4. When facebook steals my precious quiet time during naptime, I deactivate my account for like a week or so. Nobody notices you are gone, and then we you get back on you realize you didn't really need to know what your best friend in 8th grade had for breakfast.

    I'm not a writer like you, but I love to read some good classics. Louisa May Alcott has some really good ones that inspire me to be a better person, and it's not just Little Women.

  5. A deadline the next morning usually gets my butt in gear...usually lol I am the worst motivated person ever.


Comments make my day.