As I blogged yesterday, today marks the start of this year’s December Writing Challenge, so wipe down your computer screens, sharpen your pencils, and ink those fancy fountain pens. It’s time to get to work.
Whether you are just starting out as a writer and find the idea of writing daily overwhelming, or you have a long-established writing habit and would just like a little added encouragement during this busy season, this challenge is for you. The goal, as stated in my previous post, is to write every day, even if just a little bit. Work on that novel you have in progress or start something brand new. Juggle a few things or focus all your attention on one. Yes, revising counts, though you should make sure that revision time includes some writing of new text and not just crossing out things that aren’t working. The goal is to write.
So, a few tips to get you started:
- Schedule your writing time ahead if at all possible. Make a date with yourself and put it on the calendar. That way you won’t be washing the dinner dishes and bemoaning the fact that you still need to write.
- Have at least one backup project to work on. That way if you’re truly stuck on your main writing project one day, you can switch over and get some words in on your other idea rather than not write at all that day.
- If you have a really hectic day, try breaking up your writing time into a couple of smaller sessions.
- Tell your friends and family what you’re doing, so they understand that there will be a window of time each day when you really can’t be disturbed unless it’s an emergency. Added bonus: this helps train them for the new year, when you have your daily writing habit established.
Now, a brief word on writing every day. No, it’s not necessary to write every day in order to be a writer. Plenty of writers are successful writing less frequently. But a regular writing habit of any sort is like any other exercise — you’re training your muscles (in this case your brain) to perform on demand. So taking this challenge doesn’t mean you have to write every day for the rest of your career. But it will help warm up that creative muscle of yours and keep you moving forward during a month when it’s easy to let your own needs fall by the wayside. And who knows? You may like what you come up with when you write every day.
Good luck, and happy writing!