Spring is finally here! After a harsh winter filled with dark days, bitter winds and more snow than I prefer, I welcome chirping birds, blooming flowers and earlier sunrises.
Spring is a time for new beginnings. There’s no better time to start developing new writing habits that get you to write more like this spring.
If your writing hibernated over the last several winter months, it’s time to wake up the writer within you! Choose these strong writing habits so that you write more and write daily.
Give Boring a Makeover
A big reason why we’re not writing more is because we’re not excited about the moment in our story that we are to write next.
For me, I drag my feet when it comes to writing descriptions, be it the scenery or characters. Even though I know it’s crucial to the story, I am more drawn to writing dialogue.
When writing turns dull, you have to spice things up!
It’s time to make a list. What objectives do you want to achieve in this section of the story? Now, brainstorm ways that would make this section exciting to read without stepping away from the established tone, themes and character development.
The truth is that if you’re not excited to write about it, you’re reader isn’t going to enjoy reading it.
Writing your story should be as enjoyable of an experience for you as reading your story is to be for your reader. And if you’re excited to write the next phase, chances are you’ll write more this spring.
Set Your Alarm
Struggling to find time to write during the day? How about making your day start earlier?
Now that the mornings aren’t draped in darkness as long as winter, it’s easier to set your alarm for 5AM.
I said easier. Not easy.
#5amwritersclub is a dedicated group of writers who are ready to write—with coffee and donuts as fuel, of course—by 5AM. Writers of this early risers group tweet during the writing session about their progress as well as cheer on their fellow writers with the hashtag #5amwritersclub.
Simply wake up hours before your day officially starts to write and tweet a hello to your new writer friends. You’ll find motivation to keep this writing session time on your schedule because your virtual writing community knows if you woke up to write based on your use of (or lack of) the Twitter hashtag.
Pitch a (Figurative) Tent
It’s time to go to camp! Camp NaNoWriMo, that is.
In case you don’t know about National Novel Writing Month (better known as NaNoWriMo), it’s a self-challenge to complete a 50,000-word novel during the month of November.
Don’t worry. That’s not the challenge I’m encouraging for you to do.
Think of Camp NaNoWriMo as National Novel Writing Month’s spinoff. With sessions offered both in April and July, you can become a virtual camper who commits to writing a designated amount of words that you want to write on a project that you want to write. In other words, it doesn’t have to be a novel.
What’s great about the NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo online community is the genuine support. You’re not competing with your fellow campers. In fact, you’ll cheer each other on through the writing groups (called cabins), forums and social media.
April can be your month where you establish healthy writing habits as well as complete a writing project—all within 30 days!
Select The Right Tool
Sometimes writing more this spring means writing more than zero words a day. For that to happen, you need to open your journal or word document and just write.
But if you’re trying to jump back into the practice of daily writing, a notebook won’t inspire you to write more. And while a word document program can count your words as you type, it doesn’t urge you to keep going.
That’s where 750words.com comes in. It’s an online tool where you can privately type out 750 words—an equivalent of about three pages—in a way that keeps you going with your writing as a daily habit. That is, if you like earning badges and admiring colorful graphs.
What’s really cool about 750words.com is the analytics. Not only can it calculate what I call the basics (total word count, words per minutes, how fast it took to reach 750 words and the like), it digs deep into the words you choose to write. This tool can determine the mood of your writing, the topics you most focus on, the sensory descriptions you mostly use (and don’t use) and the mindset you’re in while writing—just to name a few.
And 750 words is a significantly greater number than a word count of zero.
While in its early years it was free, it now charges a monthly subscription of $5/month after a 30-day trial.
If $0 is more your speed right now, check out wordcounter.net. This online tool can track how many words, sentences and paragraphs as well as reading time and reading level of your writing. You can even speak your story and WordCounter transcribes it! There’s no set word count goal, so you’ll have to be more diligent in reaching a set number of words.
Determine Your Due Dates
When there’s a deadline at work, do you shrug it off? Push it back? Fight with your supervisor about it?
You make the project happen. You get to the office early and stay late. You remain focused and use every minute efficiently. You shuffle things around to get the job done.
Why don’t we do this for our writing?
We give up easily on our writing goals simply because we do not hold ourselves accountable. At work, your supervisor holds you accountable. At home, your family (or a specific family member, if we’re really honest with ourselves) holds you accountable.
Why don’t you hold yourself accountable for your writing?
It’s time to be the boss for your own writing project. Set a deadline for a specific goal. Create actionable steps to reach the writing goal. And make writing a priority in your life.
You don’t give up easily when life throws you a curveball at work or at home. So don’t let setbacks hold back your writing.