- Ritualize your writing sessions. By that I mean, start in the same way each session. Give your brain a trigger that it's time to get started. For me, I spend 30 to 45 minutes each morning going through e-mails, blog comments, and social networks before switching computers to write, revise, or plot. By doing this, I release anxiety about staying connected, and I free my brain for creative work.
- Have a plan of attack. Before each session, briefly think about what you want to achieve during that block of time. Sometimes you'll get more done, sometimes less, but planning gives your brain a runway of where to go.
- Don't stay away too long. When you take extended time away from your project, it grows into a monster in the closet. Suddenly, the book you loved becomes a horrific beast in your mind. Even if it's only for ten minutes, chip away at your task regularly.
- Ignore how you feel. When you feel excited about your new book, write. When you feel like pulling the covers over your head, write. Don't let your feelings dictate your productivity. Athletes can't skip practice because they're feeling insecure, and neither can we.
- Find supportive writing friends. You'll weather the ups and downs of the writing life if you have friends who get it. Your spouse, sister, best friend, and co-workers might not always have the words you need to hear, but other writers deep in the trenches will. I've met amazing writers through blogging, local writer's groups, and conferences. By cultivating friendships with them, I know I always have someone to turn to when my hope fails. And it's rewarding to be able to help them when they're struggling.
What simple tips do you rely on to keep moving forward with your writing? Please share! I'm going to compile the list for one of next week's posts.
Join me on Friday to set one goal!