Want to achieve your writing goals? NaNoWriMo can be a good first step, because the 50K-words-in-30-days process teaches you to produce. I suspect that for many writers, that will be the greatest benefit of NaNoWriMo. You can’t achieve your goals without action.
Not every writer wants to write a novel by doing NaNoWriMo of course. However, you can still put the “write every day” process into action.
In my first decade as a writer, I did a lot of writing exercises to build my writing muscles. From memory, the first edition of the Top 70 Writing Tips: Write More, Improve Your Writing, And Make More Money, which includes many of the exercises, was released in 2009. Over the years, the program has grown.
ACT to achieve your writing goals
When I started writing, just like every other writer, I had lots of bad habits. The worst was procrastination… 🙂
Needless to say, this didn’t endear me to publishing and magazine editors. I pulled myself together by doing writing exercises, each and every day, for 365 days a year. I made a commitment to myself: I didn’t have to work on my paid writing projects if I didn’t want to. However, I had to do at least ONE writing exercise a day.
Baby steps: consistency is key
As you might imagine, it was a challenge to go from someone who thought that you had to be “inspired” to write, to someone who just wrote, no matter what.
Here’s the thing. I soon discovered that inspiration comes from action. I got more and better ideas when I was writing, rather than thinking about writing.
I know that many writers have a big challenge: self-doubt. Here’s an excerpt from the Top 70 Writing Tips: Write More, Improve Your Writing, And Make More Money to help you to eliminate your doubts.
(Excerpt) 11. Turn off Your Internal Editor, and Just Write
Writing is thinking on paper. It’s more effective than ordinary thinking, because when you write you use both left and right brain. When you think without writing, your thinking is strictly left-brained, and not as smart.
If you find that when you’re free-writing, or write-thinking, or writing a first draft, your internal editor chirps up with: “that’s rubbish, how could you write that? It doesn’t make sense. You can’t write that, you must be brain-damaged” you need to turn OFF your internal editor.
Here’s how. Imagine a dumpster. Now imagine your internal editor. Kick your editor into the dumpster and slam down the heavy lid.
You don’t need your editor until you have something on paper, or on the computer screen that you want to revise. And even when you’ve invited your internal editor to help with your revision, you don’t need carping. Warn your editor that if he makes rude or unkind remarks, he goes back in the dumpster!
(Note: this imaginative exercise works. Try it.)
Exercise 11: Find an Image of a Dumpster
Go to Google Images and find an image of a dumpster.
There’s a mile of them. Find one which resonates with you, and download the image to kickstart your imagination.
Resources to build your writing career
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