Rigidly enforce your boundaries.
If you don’t maintain your schedule and environment, it will not be maintained. If you need to write, make sure you write.
For my daughter, I have marbles on my desk. I move a marble every 100 words. She knows when all the marbles have been moved I will be available.
What kind of writing is it?
As we age, our energy levels drop. Learn to manage your energy.
- Full brain jobs = crafting immortal prose
- Half brain jobs = deep research outline
- Little brain jobs = lists of character names or add pics to inspiration board
Discipline is important.
Break things into micro elements.
Where does your writing go?
What works for you?
May have to determine through trial and error.
Measurement = Improvement
If we measure it, it improves.
Build in a time period to see what you have been doing.
Build a track record.
Even if you right now don’t have time for writing, start recording where time goes. This can be more helpful than you expect. One of panelists kept record and discovered that son was acting out when he was due to check back in on his cancer.
The sagging middle is common.
Common to start strong but have no idea what next.
Write the end of that failed novel.
When you sit down and have nothing, keep writing.
Write even when it hurts.
Don’t only write when inspired.
Take your failed work. Revise and edit it.
Do not get rid of anything.
If you don’t know where you are going: outline, journal, free write.
Give yourself multiple successful cycles of writing.
- Write a scene that doesn’t go in the story.
- Something you can write.
- Example: How would this character describe looking for something specific (what would it be?) in their home?
- Use habit tracker. Mark your writing on the calendar.
- Just writing at all is success.
We get to a stage, eventually, of general competency. However, if you are at Level 0 as a writer, go after it. Be willing to “not be very good yet.”
I used to write the first draft in Comic Sans.
I fed myself M&Ms every 100 words.
I attended FenCon 2019 and went to a couple of panels by science fiction and fantasy authors that I thought had useful information for writers.
- Shana Swenson, 20 books published
- Mel White, NF and fiction
- Paul Black, 7 books
- Jan S. Gephardt, author/illustrator
- Patrice Sarath, 5 novels
- Tex Thompson