Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
The holidays bring extra time off for many of us, and our office each year feels the effects of that: Come January, an avalanche of submissions hits our in-boxes with force.
Whether it’s the dreary weather, the extra time, or the impetus to get that manuscript ready to be shown by year’s end, November and December are productive months.
To help you to keep on your writing target (even if the goal isn’t to finish by the end of the year) I offer five simple writing tips.
The most important way to be productive is to put your Butt in Chair. (For the dainty among us, you could call it the SIC Principle, Seat in Chair.) If you don’t sit down and write, you can hardly make the best-seller list or craft a better sentence, can you?
Writing Tip #2. Let someone else read your material.
I know one writer who often becomes discouraged that she’ll ever be a published author. To keep herself motivated, she lets astute readers give her feedback. They consistently return her manuscripts with high praise–and some suggestions. It’s a winning combo.
Writing tip #3. Read widely.
Reading a marvelous novel reminds you that the sky’s the limit when it comes to creative expression. Or read a nonfiction book that causes you to rethink your worldview. Yeah, your manuscript could have the same effect on someone. Read articles, read blogs, read newspapers. Read, read, read. Fill your writing well with thought-provoking, intelligent, eloquent writing. It will give you an ample supply of clear thinking for your own writing.
Writing Tip #4. Be accountable.
Find a writing partner who wants to be serious about the business. Set individual goals (e.g., so many words per day, or to finish your rewrite within the month) and then check in with each other regularly to cheer yourselves on. Just as in having an exercise buddy, knowing your writing partner is being pressing on, helps you to go and do likewise.
Writing Tip #5. Write your passion.
Sometimes we become so tuned into the market that we set aside what we feel passionate about and try to write what we think publishers want, what readers want, what seems highly marketable–everything but what you, the author, wants. I believe writers should pay attention to the market. But they should also listen to their hearts. That’s where the really great stuff resides.
So now it’s your turn. What are other writing tips to close out 2016 and keep on writing? Tell us what you hope to achieve with your writing career by year’s end.
5 simple tips to keep your writing on target. Click to tweet.
It’s not too late to meet your 2016 writing goals. Here’s how. Click to tweet.