Busy Person Writing Tip #11

Set weekly word-count goals.

Daily goals are too easy to miss, and too easy to get discourage. Monthly are too long, and way too easy to procrastinate; creating a marathon and defeating the purpose.

Start small, something relatively easy to obtain, e.i. 1,000 words in a week. Add to the total each week… 100, 250, 500, etc. Whatever is do able and continues to build productivity and habit.


Busy Person Writing Tip #10

If you are bored with your manuscript, so is the reader. If you are going through the motions to read it, find yourself spacing off, or even just waiting for the next part “because it is so good”… stop! This part needs your attention.

As a reader I will “skim” certain sections if I am bored. If I skim a paragraph and then another, and then find myself flipping pages you’ve lost me. I am a patient reader. I will stick with it, but for only so long, and only if the beginning was really good. Most readers won’t.

How to fix it is really the question though. Is it out of character? Is the pacing slow? It is just superfluous? Does it need action? The big question, can it be cut and not interfere with the story? If so, get rid of it.

If need be, what is the most awful thing that could happen to your character in the scene? The one item that would foil all their plans? Make it happen. You can always tame it down later.

Busy Person Writing Tip #8

Have a writing buddy.

Don’t trust a cat though. They only want to steal the warm laptop.2014-07-12-09-14-29.jpg

2014-10-13 16.02.20.jpg

I have several four-legged ones. I have discovered when I start to get agitated while writing they sense it. They will usually either bring me toys, ask to go outside, or do the ever-annoying whining for no particular reason (and you get to go on a treasure hunt of annoyance to find they want nothing). In reality, it means I need to walk away from the project and they know it. When my 12 year old dog feels it necessary to smack me in the face with a rope toy I need to listen.

A writing buddy can be a sounding board, a motivator, someone who can tell you to walk away, or helps generate ideas.

Busy Person Writing Tip #7

If you are between stories or are in a writer’s block, do some flash writing/one-shot writing/ drabble writing. Whatever your chosen phrase for it, take 20 minutes and write something unrelated to your main project. It will freshen your ideas, and hell, may give you a new main project.

Busy Person Writing Tip #5

Who else has had inspiration hit them at 2AM in the morning when you have to be to the place that pays your bills in 6 hours?

I use to keep a writing pad by bed. Great idea. I’ll ignore the need for glasses. However, I already have terrible handwriting, now add sleep deprivation, blurry eyes, and furry babies sleeping on me making moving to a writing position challenging. I tried different phone apps. They do work, but I didn’t find it easy to operate my phone (- see above). I don’t have a voice activated phone which may make it more efficient.  I have found a portable recorder (I got mine for less than $20) is a great tool. I only need to flip the on switch and hit record. I talk. I then have the recordings for as long as I want. I also carry this little bugger in my purse and on the treadmill.