Just like with other resolutions, maintaining the ones you’ve set for your writing can be difficult as the days and months progress. So, B&N Press is here to help you get started and keep you on track with a few tips to remember.
Here are our “3 Ways to Kick Start Your Writing This Year!”
Set Your Intention
Before starting your writing journey this year, know what kind of writing journey you even want to have. Ask yourself whether you’re looking to write a full-length novel. Or are you more interested in telling a short story? Knowing your writing goals before you start writing might be the crucial ingredient you need to cross the finish line.
Another intention to consider is what you are hoping to achieve with your writing. Are you hoping to submit your manuscript to a publisher or agent? On the other hand, you might be considering the self-publishing route. In either case, you should know what to expect and do some research about expectations for a publisher versus self-publishing.
Once you’ve set your intention and goals, the next consideration is the best way to organize your time. This can be setting a writing schedule with a specific time each day when you plan to write. And understand this time is completely up to you and your needs based on your life. There is no best time to write. Only a best time for you to write. Another part of scheduling is coming up with a timeline. Set goals based on the cadence on when you can write. Set different dates to reach certain goals, which can keep you accountable.
It’s also good idea to determine what kind of writer you are such as being a pantser or a plotter. Because being one or the other may include more preparation and coordination. If you’re a pantser, you make your way through a story by the seat of your pants. So, your first draft might not use any framework and instead let the story unfold as you write, which might be less time consuming initially. But, keep in mind, being a pantser could mean spending more time in the editing stage to craft the best story from all your pantser elements.
On the other side are the plotters. This could mean creating an outline, character bible, setting breakdown, etc. Plotters take the time in the beginning to craft the story. But, the method in which you tell your story depends fully on what works for you as a writer. The main thing is that organizing your process is a great tool to keep you on track.
It may seem obvious, but the most important and easiest way to stay motivated during your writing journey is to… read. Yes, read. A book, an article, a comic, whatever it is that allows you to experience another voice and vision. This is important for many reasons and a couple major ones are how reading can be an amazing source of inspiration as well as an education. And you don’t just have to read in your genre either. In fact, keeping a diverse reading list can only help enhance your own technique.
Another way to stay motivated might not be for everyone… make your writing accountable to someone. Entrusting your story to someone during the writing process won’t just keep you on track, it also will offer perspective. Writing is an isolated business. It’s introverted. Just you and your imagination. While it might feel unnatural to bring in another point of view, especially during a rough draft stage, it might also be the very thing your story needs in case of plot holes, confusing narrative points, or even to push through writer’s block. This concept might be horrifying, but writing is an act of fearlessness. Take the leap and share your work before you’re ready. It’s not as painful as it might seem.
There’s many other ways to keep yourself writing throughout the year, but coming back to these touchstones might just be the key to completing your writing resolutions.
And, even if you don’t reach your goals, that’s ok too. There’s always next year 😉