You know the saying, “I’ve got 99 problems but X isn’t one”? That’s a saying I like to use a lot, because it’s true while we all face challenges in our life, as an author one of the things that shouldn’t be a problem is your writing. Note I didn’t say anything about editing, marketing, publication, networking, or any of the million other things that we do as writers. But the actual act of drafting (writing) your stories or projects? That needs to be your happy place.
One of the best, easiest ways to make consistent daily writing word counts is to make writing your happy place. Even if you can squeeze in a sentence or two here or there between other things, those few words need to come from a happy place. Writing should be the place to turn to when you need to escape for a while. It should be as comfortable as curling up with a blanket and watching your favorite television show or movie franchise. A happy place. How do you get there?
1. Release All Judgment
Look, I don’t think we’d be writers if we didn’t look at our work during some phase of the process and think “oh, this is rough” (or say worse things). There are always places we can improve our craft, but during the drafting process isn’t one of them. If you can think of doing something better as you’re writing, then by all means work it into the story. I know for me, I’m reminding myself to get into the setting, to use the character’s senses (and my own) to give the reader a more vibrant experience. But other than that? Release any judgement you have about your writing. It doesn’t suck. It simply is. Or, you can feel like the story is flowing and wonderful, which is ideally where you want to be, but at the other end of the spectrum, it’s words on the page, nothing more, nothing less.
2. Fall in love your characters
If you’re writing romance than one (or both) of the love interests need to be swoon-worthy. Like your favorite star in their finest outfit bringing you breakfast in bed swoon-worthy. For those writing fantasy, make the characters larger than life adventurers. Swashbuckling space pirates or gritty space marines occupy your science fiction. How about a hard boiled detective for your mystery? Or maybe a cozy baker for your cozy mystery? The genre doesn’t matter as long as you want to be with your characters in their stories. This is the movie you’d watch if you could choose or the person you’d spend the afternoon paling around with.
3. Have fun
I think we get too bogged down in all the “stuff” we do outside of writing. Sometimes you need to write something a bit zany for you. Use writing prompts or just have fun with a lark of an idea. It doesn’t matter how off-the-wall it is. You’ve got to break out of your mold and have fun from time to time, do it.
Is your writing your happy place? When you hit your daily word count, whether it takes you 30 minutes or 3 hours, is that time where you know that in that moment, with those words, you have 99 problems but writing isn’t one them?
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