Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Great Aspects of Writing

What do you do when you hit a writing wall? Do you convince yourself you will never be a good writer? Do the doubts creep in and overtake you? Well, that happens to me too. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help me through those times.
The key to getting rid of doubts is to nip them in the bud. I'm recommending serious backtalk to those buggers. When you're feeling useless, out of ideas, grammatically challenged, and just plain lousy, you need an SOS sheet to refer to. Think of it as your own personal defibrillator.

SOS sheet? What's that?

An SOS sheet contains four main sections. It starts with your personal list of reasons why you write. It continues on to your favorite aspects of writing. A list of your danger zones comes next. Finally, you'll have a section of concrete actions you can take to get back in your groove.

If you haven't written down a list of reasons why you write, go back to Monday's post. Look at the questions, but don't limit yourself to my questions. Really think about why you write and jot down your answers. Now you have the first section of your SOS sheet.

Think about the greatest parts of writing. My list will look very different from yours. But I'll share mine with you to get you thinking.

  • An idea pops in my head. I start thinking about it and before I know it an entire story needs to be written. No better feeling!
  • When I finish my final draft of a novel and know it was the very best I could do at that point in my life.
  • Looking at my watch and realizing I just wrote nine pages without looking up. (Rare!)
  • Having revelations about my current WIP while grocery shopping, or showering, or walking... Needless to say, I can't wait to get home and write them down.
  • Talking to other writers. Writing groups keep me sane.
  • Reading a great blog, or finding out an author just made a first sale. Both inspire me.
  • Studying a book on the writing craft and applying the knowledge to my own work. Who doesn't like to feel they're improving?
  • Thinking up the worst titles for a book ever. Bulging Butcher Buys a Bride. Coming up with cringe-worthy titles takes the pressure off.
  • Reading my writing. Sometimes I laugh out loud at my own prose--in a good way!
  • Looking back at my calendar and seeing how far I've come.

What about you? What are the best aspects of writing for you? Please, write them down. You'll need to refer to them when your writing flounders, or you're too busy to write, or you start missing your writing days.

Join me on Friday when we'll discuss the not so great aspects of writing.


Write Already--It's Wednesday!

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