Writing Tips

Christmas Day. I’m not here right now but if you leave me a message I will get back to you as soon as I can. Actually, by the time you read this, it will have been a full month since I wrote it. I cherish these long timelines before writing something and before it goes to press. I can play with the writing, add a little, take a little—it’s very organic. Sometimes, and this happens more often than you think, I scrap the post for something entirely different.

Writing longhand

Writing longhand

It’s not my intention today to ramble on about nonsense, so I thought I’d give you a gift instead. Many times, I have felt the need to elaborate more about my writing, but I have never had the will to do that, particularly for these reasons:

  • Writing sites crop up every day, and what I offer isn’t anything you can’t gain from other sites.
  • I’ve never felt comfortable about writing about writing. I know, I’ve written three thick books that I should be proud of, but I’ve always felt unworthy to impart any information to my audience. In my mind, it seems pretentious to do such a thing, considering authors such as John Grisham, who I admire dearly, has never written about his writing. If anyone should write about writing, it should be Grisham.

Anyway, today I’d like to give you three things I do to keep on track with my writing. With this I hope to overcome this huge feeling of unworthiness that goes through me when I’m writing about writing.

All right, enough of the self-loathing. Here are the points:

  1. Schedule Writing Time—I’m a great believer in treating writing like a job. Well, for me, it is a job, so I have no choice. I clock in and punch out every day. That’s the secret as to how I get so much writing done in a day. I wake up at 4:52 every morning, wash up, have my walk, then I sit down to write while everyone is still asleep. My writing is scheduled. I don’t allow anything to interfere with my goal of getting 1,000 words done. Trust me when I say that when you become scheduled, writing will turn into a habit very quickly in your life. You’ll miss it if you do not do it.
  2. Write What You Love—Everyone has something interesting to talk about, even if it’s a silly subject like the zombie apocalypse. When I first started writing, I had no clue what I was doing. In some respect, even today, I don’t know what I’m doing. But, I’ll tell you something you may not know. If you write about things you love, you will never run out of things to talk about, either in your novel writing or on your site. I find it easy to sit down and come up with posts for my site and scenes for my books. And the only reason for that is that I love writing about the things that interest me. Fortunately, the things I love happen to be the things other people love, too.
  3. Don’t Rely on Muse or Inspiration—This is the only “don’t” on my list. Treat writing like a job. In a job, you don’t rely on inspiration to get things done. You do the job because you have to, and if you don’t get it done, you’re out of a job. Simple as that. Are you going to fire yourself? Of course not! You’re going to work hard until what you imagined in that brain of yours flows on the paper and you’re done. Yes, it will be hard, especially those days when you hear yourself saying, “I don’t feel like it.” I promise you though, if you treat writing like a job, you will never run out of anything to say.

One last thing before I go back to having my eggnog—always, always revise. Forget about the first draft. Sometimes I’ll knock out a first draft that appears publication worthy, but the usual thing I do is dump everything on paper, then revise.

Revisions is what makes your work shine. Never cheap out on spending the time with your writing to make it what you’ve envisioned.

Now, if you feel the need to write something, leave a comment. In the meantime, I’m sure at this very moment I’m getting ready to enjoy the rest of today with my family with tons of food and festivities.

Get the Ranger Martin trilogy now!

What writing tips do you have that you’d like to share with everyone?

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11 Comments

  1. Thank you!! Makes perfect sense to me… I have no problem with the sitting down to write, re-writing, scrapping, etc. I am trying to figure out what I need to do to take my passion to the next level. Thus I must still be dabbling in the quest for my niche? and why do I have to have one niche? Food for thought-

    definitely enjoyed your tips and will be back to read more!!

    Kind Regards and Sushine – K

    Reply
  2. The benefit to writing ahead of when something is due is that the revision becomes easier. You are less “vested.” You can see the clunky language, the unnecessary words, the unclear ideas. Revision becomes so much easier when you can give yourself that distance.

    Reply
    • Long timelines is what I always look for when venturing into a new writing project!

      Reply
      • I’m giving myself a couple of weeks to decide on which project I’m going to tackle and then make a long timeline. 🙂

  3. Thanks Jack!
    I need to work on the ‘treating it like a job’! I write but just like any discipline you need to make it something your passionate about. (agreed) So here’s to another wonderful year of growth, sharing things we love and Happy Christmas!

    Reply
  4. Rewriting is the key to good writing. My tip is this: when you’ve finished the first draft treat it like a novel being studied at college. What questions would students and lectures ask? What analysis would be conducted on the plot, the theme, the characters? Once you’ve answered every question that could be asked by rigorous academic study you’re ready to rewrite it and there won’t be any holes, gaps, unanswered twists or loose ends.

    And merry Christmas. (Or merry Boxing Day actually!)

    You get up at eight minutes to five in the morning!!!

    Reply
  5. Write with your heart. It is messy but red goes well on white paper. Writing bleeds out your brain. How many times I have written something, then reread it months later and was ashamed by my thoughts and poor writing. But I am stubborn and kept writing. I kept the faith and that is the one thing I wish others would endeavor to do.

    Reply
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