Thursday, September 25, 2014

Keys to Writing Successfully

From Cheryl's Writing Crate

I'm a writer.  I'm a full-time working mother.  I'm a doggy-mommy to two feisty but loveable dogs.  I'm a writer.  I'm a putterer and someone passion-ridden about all things home and garden.  I'm a podcaster.  I'm a dreamer.  I'm a writer.  I'm an explorer.  I'm a writer--yet--I don't write nearly as often as I desire or need to.

Just when I think I have my schedule arranged perfectly to accommodate more precious writing time, life interrupts my plans, and I have to drive the carpool, take care of a sick child, run out for milk, finish a report for work, walk my playful dogs or tend to something silly like laundry or cooking dinner.

Luckily, in addition to all the attributes listed above, I am also determined, and by all means not a quitter, so while I do consider myself a writer, I will always consider myself a student of this craft I love so much, therefore, I will always be open to finding ways to be the most successful writer I can be.

Today I stumbled upon a wonderful article about this very topic called What is the Key to Writing Successfully by Sandy Appleyard, and I knew I had to share it with you.

In this well-written piece, author and full-time writer, Sandy Appleyard, shares "Momentum is the key to writing successfully, and it is what you get when you're on a roll, when you've got your story in mind or already started, and you have the drive to continue working on it until it's finished, regardless of whatever else you are doing."

I know she's right, but yet, I allow so many other things to slow me down in the process, even when I do have that momentum building in my favor.

Sandy shares her ten best tips for maintaining a constant writing momentum.  You can read them all in her article, What is the Key to Writing Successfully, but I will list my three favorites for you here.

1.  Write every day.

Make it a habit.  Find what time of day best suits you and set aside that time to write.  Think of it as your ‘me’ time and it helps to minimize the feeling of selfishness that authors can sometimes get.  Consider writing a favour you do for yourself each day; like exercising your brain.

 2.  Make small sacrifices.

Many of us watch what we may think is just a little television, or spend a perceived small amount of time surfing the internet or on social media.  But if you record the actual time that you use on each or individually, you’d be surprised how much it amounts to. 

One of the best things I ever did for myself was to turn off all the notifications I had on my cell phone.  It was such a distraction getting Facebook and Twitter updates constantly, I barely got any writing done.  The same holds true for the television.  If you cut even one or two shows out per night, you’d be amazed how much writing you can get done.
 Read if you can’t write.

3.  Every night before bed I read.  

Sometimes I write, too, but for the most part I’m too tired to write.  Reading good books is food for a writer’s brain.  Consider that if you don’t read that you’re literally starving your brain if you want to continue being a writer.  You simply cannot have the tools involved in writing good books if you’re not reading them too.

Just reading Sandy's helpful practices has already started my momentum building up again.  What are some of the ways you keep moving forward when you want or need to write?  If we combine our ideas and practices, perhaps we can all become unstoppable writers like Sandy Appleyard.

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