10 Tips (& Tools) for Writing Success in 2015

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Photo by nerdynotdirty – http://nerdynotdirty.deviantart.com/

As the end of 2014 fast approaches many Authors (and aspiring authors such as myself) are setting resolutions for the New Year in the hopes of being more productive and reaching our writing goals.  However, we all know how New Year’s resolutions usually go: a few weeks of dedicated struggle to adhere to your new regimen only to find yourself shrugging off your failure in spring.

Well folks, I don’t want to be that person this year so… here’s my plan, maybe it can help you too.

Let’s do this!

  • Use What You Got – As a mom I have to be up early to get my kiddo off to school each day.  Once she’s on the bus, if I manage to get myself up and going while she’s dressing etc, I’ve got about an hour all to myself!  This is a perfect time to write that I’ve been wasting with surfing the net.  Your time might not be mornings, maybe it’s night time or your lunch break at work – it could be an hour or even just ten minutes (check out the Ten Minute Novelist, these folks know your pain) just make it time DEDICATED to writing.  Which brings me to…
  • Stay On Target – As writers (and avid readers) it’s really easy to wander away from our projects on hand. Don’t let the dishes piling up or that notification noise on your phone pull you away from writing.  I promise all those things will be there when you’re done and if you walk away from your computer, the writing won’t happen at all.
  • Keep It Real – So I have an hour in the morning, is it realistic I’ll spend that whole hour every day on writing? Probably not, life happens.  So, let’s set a more realistic goal, shall we? I’m going with 750 words or 30 minutes, whichever is more.  I LOVE using 750words.com
  • Exercise – Oh man I’m the worst at staying dedicated to this one and perhaps that’s because I always think of it as part of a weight loss or maintenance plan instead of a mood enhancer! Truth be told when I do go for a walk or ride in the AM I usually feel more energetic and accomplished all day long AND as a result my creativity spikes.  Spending even 20 minutes of my hour on a short walk or bike ride will certainly help get me ready for some creative time.  Looking for help?  Check out sparkpeople.com for free recipes, exercise trackers and more!  I ♥ it!
  • READ MORE – Nothing keeps my creative brain going like reading other writer’s work! I seriously need time to read.  Guess what this girl is doing on lunch breaks at work this year!  Leave a link in the comments to your book and maybe I’ll read it in 2015 and review it for the Writing Wenches blog!  Looking for more books?  Check out these GREAT AUTHORS.
  • Workshop – That’s right, join or build a group of crit partners. Not just family or friends who will give you a pass on deadlines or review from a place of love… get a crack group of peers who know your craft and set goals together then, make them.  I did a workshop in 2014 and it has been one of the number one best things for making me view my craft as a career and not a hobby.  Check out Virtual Writer Workshop – they are one of my new favorite things in 2014.
  • Should or Need?Know that writing every day is something you “NEED” to do… not “should” do.  (CLICK TO TWEET THIS!)  Say it out loud, say it often, repeat yourself until you’re sick of hearing it… then say it again.  If you NEED something in life, you will obtain that goal.  If you start out your resolution with “should” you’re already planning to fail.  Will I always achieve that goal?  I’m sure emergencies and illness will happen but if I know what I NEED (writing), I’m more likely to achieve it.  I NEED to write daily in 2015, how about you?  Clean up the clutter in all areas of your life, check out this site!
  • Writers Block Is Bunk – I said it. You may throw tomatoes now.  Seriously though, as someone advised me in 2014, open the phone book and write the names if you must.  I promise something will spark your creativity.  If you can’t think about the project you’re writing now, write whatever you ARE thinking about… chores not done, another story you want to write, etc.  Whatever is ‘blocking’ your mind, get it out.  Get it on the paper.  You need to slay the dragon if you want to get to the gold.  Your time is best spent doing what you can to get past that issue than waiting for the muse to walk back in the room.  Write what needs to be written.
  • Share Your Goals – I think every resolution site out there says it, because it’s true for a lot of people. If you have a group of friends who will check in on your progress from time to time… TELL THEM YOUR GOALS!
  • Reward Yourself – When I reach a goal for the day or the week I need to remember to recharge and celebrate. In 2014 I ordered from Teavana whenever I did a full month of reaching my word count.  I think I’m going to keep that up.  I also indulged in character blogs for my role play characters – these fun, no-pressure stories are like candy for my creative mind.  I LOVE writing them.  I STRONGLY recommend any author check out play-by-post websites or even writing fan fiction as a nice break from what feels like “required” writing.

Do YOU have advice you want to share for success in 2015?  Tell us in the comments!
Got a book you’d like me to check out in 2015?  Share the link in the comments!

Visit DeAnna M Ross' website http://deannamross.wordpress.com/

20 comments on “10 Tips (& Tools) for Writing Success in 2015

  1. Great, great suggestions. You’ve hit the mark. I have one to add…

    As artists, we need to cultivate a belief in the importance of what we do, even when other duties jostle for our attention. We need to believe in the intrinsic value of our art, even when no paycheck arrives in the mail. We need to honor our creative calling and spirit of inspiration, even when the doubters tell us how nice it is we have a hobby to fill our free time!

    1. Couldn’t agree more! That’s the whole idea behind knowing you NEED to write rather than SHOULD. Sometimes we really do need to tell ourselves how important our craft is – even (and especially) if the world doesn’t. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    1. Brilliant! I think I’ll steal that idea. It’s simple, but when you have to wrestle a 6 year old out of bed at 6am and get them dressed… every morning life hack counts! Thanks for taking a moment to leave a comment! 😀

  2. First of all, I must confess, I am not a wench (I don’t think; my cleavage is far too hairy!). Just wanted to say I found this appear in my reader on WordPress as a result of a reblog, and what a fantastic read it is. Great advice and things that I will take forward with me in 2015.

    1. LOL – You could always be a bartender then! We do have one guy in our group and I don’t know if he’s hairy but we love him all the same. 😀

      Thanks for taking a moment to come by and leave a comment. It’s much appreciated.

  3. A great list! Wonderful advice to keep focused on fitting writing into your routine. That’s the biggest thing that I’ve learned about being an aspiring author. Don’t just wish it to happen — put in the time. Write regularly. That’s been a huge change in my life. Thanks for the post!

  4. Really excellent list! It takes me way more than an hour to write 1,000 words, which is what I usually write every day. But I hope to get it down to 750. 🙂 Will print this list out. I will have to check out that 750 words.com Thanks for sharing this list:
    Amy

    1. I think you’ll like 750 words. It’s a pretty cool website. Thanks for taking a moment to come by and comment Amy! 😀

    1. Sadly I don’t have an ipad so I got no clue about that one. Maybe one of my fellow Wenches does? If you find one, please come back and give us all a heads up!

      Thanks for taking a moment to leave a comment. 😀

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