Sometimes the thought of writing can be scary. You don’t even have to mention the word novel, it can be as simple as keeping a journal, sharing memories with a loved one or trying your hand at poetry. No matter how much practice you’ve had or how big (or small) your project might be, the thought of completing a written piece may seem like a stretch. Breaking it down, step-by-step, helps the beginning writer see that it’s really only a series of small tasks that produce an end result you can be proud of.
Before you begin:
Make a plan: Have an idea of what you wish to accomplish. If you want to write family stories and recipes for future generations, make a list of what all you want to include. If you wish to write short stories or a novel, you will need to begin with a basic outline.
Set up your work area: This doesn’t mean that you have to construct a library and find a desk with one of those old timey writer’s lamps. It simply means to make an area that is quiet and inspires you. Your writing area may be a cozy corner in your bedroom or outside on a swing somewhere. No rules!
Set your schedule: Make a plan and stick to it. If you need to take time off, schedule that as time off. Make sure that this time is uninterrupted time and let others know that you will be unavailable. This will help you maintain the integrity of your schedule.
And you’re off:
Start small: Aim to write no more than 300 words per day. This helps you get going without feeling overwhelmed. You will know when you are ready to increase your word count.
Have clear goals: Whether it be a word count, chapter completion, or other goal, make sure you have some. This will help you track your progress and keep you on target.
Get ongoing feedback: Find an honest person and learn to take criticism. It is better to realize you’re in a mess early on rather than when you’ve finished your entire piece.
Wrap it up:
Edit: edit, edit, edit. Then edit once more!
Share: Don’t put that piece in a drawer somewhere! Share it with someone. Send it to a publisher, self-publish, or give to a friend. You’ve worked hard, be proud!
Get back to it: Start a new piece. The more you write, the easier it gets so get started on something new right away.
Find your support:
Find a great writer’s group where you can share and learn with other writers.
Calhoun Area Writer’s Meeting
Friday, July 25
Harris Arts Center Community Room
Karli Land firstname.lastname@example.org