My Writing Journey
For those of you that don’t know, I’ve started writing, sort of. Well, I’ve begun planning my novel series – it’s going to be amazing not just as a writing journey but an unforgettable experience, and I think that that’s what writing is all about, living an experience.
I’ve always been daunted by the writing process, it looks like an insurmountable mountain that’s far away in the distance. The end is nowhere in sight and you just don’t know what you’ll get when you end up at the finish line, that’s why it’s taken me around eight years to gather up my courage to write this story that has been niggling at me all these years, I just couldn’t see the silver lining. But all that changed last summer I got a huge burst of anxious energy which led me to wanting to get this story out of my system. And here I am now planning my novels, I temporarily stopped writing to get the plans done so I know where I’m going with this but once I finish all the planning I hope to start writing up draft one of book one with a deadline set to the end of summer, following Stephen King’s advice from his book On Writing, that:
The first draft of a book – even a long one – should take no more than three months, the length of a season.
But why am I saying this?
Because so many writers have a story they are holding inside of them and are afraid to get it off their chests. Keeping a story in your mind takes up a lot of mental energy and can wear you down over the time, I speak from experience, or the fear of rejection, failure, and daunt comes of them. Please don’t let that be you, I used up so much time being scared that my book won’t be accepted, that I can’t write it, that I lost more than I had gained – heck I may have been a published author by now!
Don’t let all your time go to waste, and likewise don’t fret that you don’t have time to write either! Writing should be for enjoyment first, so write while you have a morsel of free time.
Tips for writing success:
- Start small
- Set yourself goals, make those goals as small as possible, and build up when you’re ready. Let me give you an example; I recently downloaded a couch to 5K app, the app breaks down the running into manageable chunks of running to walking and gradually builds up to a run that last 30 minutes. I think we writers need a similar app, but until one comes along lets just set a goal starting with 100 words per day. I go by words because reaching that target is easier than writing a page, or writing for a set amount of time.
- Pomodoro, what tomato? Yes, tomato. I downloaded a pomodoro timer app that is set for 25 minutes, during which I work, and 5 minutes rest, then it’s back to work. This saves me from unnecessary word counting and helps me focus on quality rather than quantity, and I’m hoping it works for you too.
- Figure out your environment
- Do you like loud noise to help you concentrate, or no noise at all? Try out different things and measure your progress. There may be no correlation at all, some days you may just be a whole lot more productive, that’s life for you, don’t stress out. Set yourself a long-term goal so that you’re not fretting over not finishing on time.
- Make your work space work for you. I like a clean minimalist environment, with as little distraction as possible, that’s why I prefer working when everyone is out of the house, and if they don’t get out? I go to the library, when it’s open.
- Change settings. This one may not be for everyone but a new place may fill you with fresh creative energy so try to go to a different coffee shop, or even take a walk after some writing.
You need your story, not for anyone else but for yourself. You owe no one an ounce of anything, but please don’t hold yourselves back by being afraid of others, and that monkey in your minds, writing will help you mentally. I was at a conference organised by Naima B. Roberts and she stated that writing is healing. Even if you are not a spiritual person I hope that this speaks to you because writing is a very cathartic activity. And so, I would like to introduce to you my little project which I’ve ingeniously called #WritebyWinter, wherein my aim is to finish my first book by the end of this winter, and you can join me too in writing your own novels with the same goal – to finish the year with a spectacular bang!
Have you been looking to write something for a while, but been too afraid of getting it out there?
Or, are you a confident little butterfly that is sure to be a hit sensation – the writing community needs more of you – how do you find that assurance?
Have you found writing to be cathartic?
Let me know in the comments!