by Michelle Miles
Last month, I talked about finishing the damn book. I hope that post motivated you to get out of your own way and start writing to the finish line. Part of writing is the ability to complete a project, edit it, submit it and move on. But if you’re having difficulty finding a way to finish that book, the maybe you need some help. Don’t be a fence-sitter. Here are five tips to help you jump off that fence and get back to the keyboard.
1. Treat it like a job. You want to write. You call yourself a writer. But it’s the last thing on your to-do list every day. This does not a writer make. I realize how difficult it is to carve out that writing time when you have a full time job, a family, etc. When dance classes and sports take over your life. When you have to answer for The Man from 8 to 5. But if you never treat it like a job, your future career, you will never make it a full time job. Even if you only write 15 minutes a day, you should be doing it every day.
2. Set yourself a daily goal and stick to it. Figure out what your schedule is for writing. Do you write best in the morning? At night whenever the household has gone to bed? Carve out that time and stick to it. For me, I write on my lunch hour at work. I take my lunch every day and sit in the restaurant in the building and hammer out the words on my keyboard. Maybe that doesn’t work for you. And if not, you have to figure out what does. Most important: try to do it at the same time every day. It will be a way to train your brain when Creative Time is.
3. Make your writing time sacred. Tell the family to bug off while you write. Okay, maybe not in so many words but you get my drift. Tell them this is your dream and you will do anything to follow it. Don’t feel guilty for not spending every second of every day with the husband and kids. They’ll understand and get it. The point is, don’t allow anyone to interfere with that sacred writing time, be it 15 minutes or 60 minutes.
4. Allow yourself to write crap. If you’re just starting out, know that your words are not golden. In fact, they most likely will suck. It’s okay to suck. You will suck until you learn the craft. You will suck right now but probably not later. Tell yourself this is okay. Puke out those words on the page and keep going. You can always edit it later. If you keep writing and working and learning, you will get better. I promise!
5. Don’t stop believin’. Journey said it best. Don’t stop. Ever. Believe in yourself. Believe in your writing and never give up. No matter how many rejections you get.
Michelle Miles writes contemporary, paranormal and fantasy romance. You can find out more about her books at her website and follow her on Twitter @MichelleMiles.