So, you want to be a writer? The prospect might seem daunting–especially if you are tackling a project for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriNo) in November. You sit there in front of a blank page (or screen) and all the stories that are running around in your head just cease to take form. What do you do? Here are a few tips that might help get the juices flowing.
Create an outline
Outlines can help you map out your story before you write. Think of it as carving a path before you lay down the cement. If you have an idea of where you’re going before you start writing, it can help the process go by quicker over all.
If you’re not sure how to construct an outline, you can find some great templates for planning your novel from Evernote.
Stay away from the flickering lights
The flickering lights being the internet, television or any of the wonderful technological advances that provide entertainment to us. Now is not the time to binge for favorite Netflix show nor is it the time to check your Facebook. In fact, while you’re staying away from the flickering lights…
Make a writing space
This can be anywhere in your home where you are comfortable and away from distractions. Don’t make it too comfortable (you could get accustomed to sleeping if it’s in your bed) and write in this space every day. Fill your space with things that inspire you and calm you. Pictures of your family, paintings, or perhaps by a window with a view of your backyard. Wherever it is, write here every day at the same time. Speaking of time…
Spend at least an hour a day writing
That sounds like a lot, but if you look at the grand scheme of what goes on in the course of your day, that’s an hour you would normally spend watching your favorite show. DVR your favorite programs and instead, commit some time to your writing. You’ll find that once you develop the habit, it will become hard to shake in the future.
Keep to a schedule
If writing feels best to you first thing in the morning, then do it every morning. If at night, every night. Whichever works for you, do it, but make sure you do it consistently. Being consistent is key to keeping the creative juices flowing. Most importantly, don’t stop. Even if you spend your hour writing a chapter that you know you’ll probably rework later, don’t let that stop you! Once you get to the end of your first draft, you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something and that will spur you on to write more in the future.