WRITING TIP #1: FORCING YOURSELF TO SIT DOWN AND WRITE THAT FIRST DRAFT

I wanted to give some writing tips over the next few months, some things that have helped me along the way, things I would like to share. So here’s the first one.

FORCING YOURSELF TO SIT DOWN AND WRITE THAT FIRST DRAFT

I’m not usually a big procrastinator – I like to get things done. I’m pretty organized, and I’m a list-maker. I love the satisfaction of checking things off of my weekly, monthly, and yearly list of things I want to get done (mostly having to do with writing).

But I will admit that there are times when I procrastinate about writing. I know I should just sit down and push through a tough spot in a novel I’m working on (Devil’s Island comes to mind as I mentioned in my previous post), but sometimes I’ll put the writing off and find something else to do.

Like anything else to do. I’ll clean the house. Go to the store. Check e-mail. Do some “research.” Reorganize the drawers of my desk.

One trick I’ve learned is to force myself to just start writing anything. And sometimes the computer is a little too daunting for this so I’ll get some notebook paper and a pen and just start jotting some things down, even writing down exactly what I’m stuck on in the story or novel. And sometimes, through the magic of just writing stuff down, the juices start flowing or floodgates open or the theatrical curtain in front of the mind’s eye opens (insert your own here), and soon I’ve written five or six pages and I can’t wait to open up the Word Doc and begin typing.

So, the next time you’re putting writing off, just sit down with some paper and a pen and just start writing. Write anything. Jot down some notes, outline a little – making it more and more detailed until you’re actually writing, do some character bios, write down exactly what you’re stuck on, or write a quick scene between two of the characters in your story – it doesn’t have to have anything to do with your story or novel, and it may never make it in there, but just through the act of writing, inspiration may come to you.

It’s worth a try the next time you’re stuck.

Hope this helps someone – and if you have any comments or suggestions for future posts, please feel free to share them.

Thanks … until next time …

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