Ready, set, WRITE!

Ready, set, WRITE!

I have just spent an entire week off school. I live in Hampton Roads, Virginia and when it snows a little, we get out of school. When it snows a lot…. well, things get nuts.

I’m not complaining. Not really. 

We got 6″ of snow where I live. The problem was that the top quarter inch was ice. Then it got cold. Like, seriously cold. It doesn’t get that cold for that long in Virginia usually. People, parts of the bay were FROZEN. There was snow on the beach for multiple days. Its been a LONG time since that’s happened.

But I used the time (mostly) wisely. And I’m going to tell you a secret. 

In order to be a writer, you have to write.

This is something I know. Everyone knows it. But its hard to actually put butt to chair and tap out those words. I’ve finally realized that when I write every day, even when its not very much or its total crap, I write more overall. When I take three days off, like I did over Valentine’s Day, it was hard to get back into the groove again. As busy as things are – and they’re busy, believe me – writing for an hour in the evening has really helped me to keep my word count rising. 

So, if you haven’t already, set a word count goal. Stephen King has said in interviews he must write 2000 a day, and he doesn’t stop until its done. I aim for around 1k. If you don’t want to tie yourself to a number of words, set a time limit. I do both. I write for one hour, OR until I hit 1k. Most of the time, I write the whole hour. But its nice to give myself an out if there’s an evening when I really want to watch TV or do something else.

Don’t expect to write amazing prose. That’s what editing is for. Give yourself permission to write total crap. You can delete and fix and reword later. You need a skeleton before you can give it flesh and pretty wrapping. Get the bones down first. If they aren’t complete, the rest will never come together.

What tips do you have? Do you have something specific you do that helps you keep motivated and writing?

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