Thursday, July 21, 2011

My 5 Tips for Writing Every Day

These are 5 tips that work for me in my quest to write at least a thousand words a day (my goal for the rest of the summer). I've been using a lot of them lately, and thought I'd share! 

1. Write before you get online (or watch TV, or whatever you do to unwind and waste time). Set a daily goal and be firm--make yourself write X number of words before you can log on to Twitter, Blogger, Facebook, etc. If you have time to be on social networking sites, you have time to be writing.

2. Read before you write. This one may not work for everybody, because I know some people don't read while they're working on a novel, but for me, it ends up being very helpful creatively if I soak myself with other people's words before producing my own. Reading reminds me of why I write--a love of stories and beautiful verbal expression--and helps me get in the right mood for handling words for a few hours. Stephen King advises that writers read 1 hour for every 2 they write, and I wholeheartedly concur.

3. Listen to music beforehand. I usually have a playlist for each WIP, and it helps me to sit with my eyes closed and just listen to a few songs that capture the mood of the scene I'm working on before I start. That way, my creative juices are flowing as soon as I start, so I don't sit there staring at a blank page.

4. Leave something for tomorrow. Don't write until you're completely drained of ideas. That's the best way I know to get writer's block. Leave something to think about and chew over creatively, so when you sit down to write again, you're mentally prepared to start. Usually for me, the story takes over from there, and I don't waste a lot of time sitting around staring at the screen.

5. Eat ice cream cake! (or whatever comfort food you prefer) I find this very helpful for difficult scenes.

What helps you write every day?


  1. I love suggestion #4. I hadn't really thought about doing that on purpose. Sometimes I leave things hanging because I have to go to bed or have something else to do, but the idea of purposely leaving it off when I might still have time to write--I'll have to think about trying that one.

  2. Laura: Thanks! I read it somewhere, but I can't remember where ... it was a few years ago. It's always helped me since. It keeps me excited about getting back to the story.

  3. Great tips. It's a good idea to have a few tricks in the bag just in case.

    Also ice cream cake. That is such a genius idea. It doesn't get mentioned enough.

  4. I think I'm going to try suggestion one. Reading other blogs is my biggest time sink.

    I am very good at suggestion five and heartily recommend it :)

  5. I think the first tip is the most important but it's sooo hard! Thanks for the reminder to prioritize. :)

  6. Exercise is good. Clears your mind.

  7. Sarah: Hahaha

    linda: It is VERY hard. I waste a lot of time online, so I try to make myself write first in case I lose track of time.

    Jaimie: Yes! Exercise is great. I especially like taking a walk while thinking about the book. It helps a lot.

  8. I'm also trying to do the daily writing thing. But, because of No. 1 and not doing No. 4 I stuttered into writing this morning, wasted a good 45 min until I got into the flow again.

  9. #1 is so important. But then, I haven't tried #5 yet...

  10. I like the genuineness and simplicity of your advice. Like you, I do find that reading helps inspire me and it spurs me to keep going. In fact, I'm going to go do some reading now!

    Thanks, Kate.

  11. Your post really helped me to understand this.It has great details and yet it is easy to understand.That's what i was looking for.I will definitely share it with others.Thanks for sharing.


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