5 Steps To Committing To Your Writing

5 Steps To Committing To Your Writing
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5 Steps To Committing To Your Writing

Credit: writinginthehouseofdreams.com

Committing to your writing is sometimes easier said than done. Self-motivation to sit at a desk to write every day, not just a week or two, can be challenging to sustain.

But committing to your writing doesn’t have to be a chore. Maintaining a writing schedule is about finding the best times of day to write when you are most inspired and creative. Follow these five steps not only to create a writing schedule, but to keep it for life.

Step 1: Define What Holds You Back

What has stopped you in the past from committing to your writing? Do any of these questions resonate with you?

  • Do you procrastinate?
  • Do you have negative mantras?
  • Do you not have a strategy or stick to your plan?
  • Do you give up too quickly?
  • Do you not make time?
  • Do you not like having a rigid writing schedule?
  • Do you fear failure—or success?

Write in your journal or talk to a close friend to help you evaluate why committing to your writing is difficult for you. What can you do to make room for your writing in your daily life?

Step 2: Create A Writing Promise

This contract isn’t set in stone. However, you may find writing down your commitment to your writing as actions easier for you to act upon.

Your writing promise should include:

  • What you plan to do
  • When you plan to do it
  • How often you will do it
  • How much you will do

Try to make your promise realistic and attainable. Review your contract on a weekly basis to evaluate stated actions that may need revising.

Step 3: Surround Yourself With Support

Create a writing support network. Share your plan of committing to your writing with family members and close friends who you can trust for support, guidance and discretion. Ask or tell them what they can do to help you stick to this commitment. Explain actions or words that may hinder your progress.

Step 4: Choose The Right Writing Project

One reason why you may be struggling with committing to your writing is the writing project itself. Are you writing it just to get it off your plate? Is it going nowhere? Is it not exciting to write about anymore?

Choose a writing project that gets your creative juices going. You should want to spend hours on your writing project and feel eager to get back to writing it.

Step 5: Create Weekly & Monthly Goals That Work For You

What can you do this month on your writing project? What can you do each week to get closer to your monthly goal?

Remember: Make these goals realistic and manageable. Reward yourself for achieving these goals to renew your motivation. These goals are to enrich your life, not punish you. If you are not inspired to reach your goals, revisit Step Four to decide if you’re pursuing the right writing project.

How do you stay committed to your writing? Share your secrets below.

My NaNoWriMo Round 2: Week 5

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My NaNoWriMo Round 2: Week 5

Has November really ended? It seems like I just started this challenge yesterday! I suppose when I am busy reaching writing goals that time flies by!

My Progress

Since last week, I wrote ten pages. I completed Act I Scene VIII and wrote most of Act II Scene I.

My Obstacles

The holidays doesn’t make it easy to escape and write. So I planned ahead of time to write as much as possible before the turkey made it to the table.

My Successes

My overall goal for this year’s NaNoWriMo was to complete Act I. Not only did I finish Act I, but I also got a running start into Act II. Not bad for one month’s worth of writing.

My Goal

I plan to keep moving my play forward next month. Not sure if I can finish Act II by New Year’s Day, but I’ll make an effort to get as close to Act III as I can before 2015.

Did you meet your writing goals this month during NaNoWriMo?

My NaNoWriMo Round 2: Week 4

The Plot Whisperer Workbook
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The Plot Whisperer Workbook

No traveling this week. However, I did crank out many pages and scenes on my play. So without further delay:

My Progress

Since last week, I wrote 18 pages—that’s eight over my goal! I completed Act I Scenes V, VI and VII. That leaves only one more scene to complete before I reach my NaNoWriMo goal of completing the play’s Act I.

My Obstacles

My mind was elsewhere this week, trying to mentally prepare for the holidays. I always like to buy my Christmas gifts in November, so I spent much time strategizing those difficult gifts to buy.

My Successes

I was on a roll this week with my writing. Once I committed to sitting down and writing, getting the words down on paper was easy. I also had time this week to go back to some previous scenes and add some new facts I learned about the characters along the way.

My Goal

As usual, I plan to write ten pages. I hope to reach my goal of finishing Act I this week. To be an overachiever, I’d like to read through the entire act and tighten up what I can now before moving forward with Act II.

How are your writing goals coming along this week?

My NaNoWriMo Round 2: Week 3

My NaNoWriMo Round 2: Week 3, or Navajo National Monument
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My NaNoWriMo Round 2: Week 3, or Navajo National Monument

The traveling continues! I returned back to my cubicle job this week, so I only had time to visit one national park: Navajo National Monument.

I also had time to write more scenes for my play. Here’s how it went:

My Progress

Since last week, I wrote ten pages of my play. I completed Act I Scene IV and reached halfway through Scene V. I made sure to leave off at a good spot so that it will be exciting to return back to writing the plot and character development.

My Obstacles

I was pretty busy at work, meaning that I was pretty wiped when I got home after the 9-to-5 grind. If NaNoWriMo wasn’t going on, I probably would not have written as much, if at all. But I’m committed to coming back every week to tell you that I have reached my weekly goal, so I pushed through. I found it easier to go out and write in public in order to stick to my goal.

My Successes

Writing when I’m tired is tough, so pushing myself to write after work is an accomplishment in itself.

I discovered a new connection between characters, so going back to tweak some dialogue in Act I Scene II will be necessary to move the story in this new direction.

My Goal

I plan to continue on on with my ten-page goal. I want to complete Act I Scenes V and VI.

How are your writing goals coming along this week?

My NaNoWriMo Round 2: Week 2

My NaNoWriMo Round 2: Week 2
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My NaNoWriMo Round 2: Week 2

Apologies for the delayed post! I was traveling across southern Arizona the past few days, hitting up as many national parks and monuments as I could miles.

Just how busy was I? I visited:

  • Saguaro National Park
  • Tumacacori National Historic Park
  • Coronado National Memorial
  • Chiricahua National Monument
  • Fort Bowie National Historic Site
  • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

But enough about my travels. Let’s discuss my progress towards my goal! I decided instead of furthering my novel this year to write my first full-length play. It won’t be completed by the end of November, but I’m hoping that Act I will at least be done.

My Progress

Since last week, I wrote ten pages of my play. I finished Act I Scene III and began Scene IV. I stopped even though I wanted to keep going so that it’ll be easier to pick up again.

My Obstacles

No Internet. I completed my ten-page deadline Sunday night, however I didn’t have Internet to post my progress to my blog. When I wasn’t on the road and finally found Internet, my blog account was deemed a suspicious website, so I was unable to access anything WordPress.

My Successes

It’s quite a rush traveling and hiking all day, then opening up my laptop to write my story at night before going to sleep.

To make sure I reached my goal of writing 10 pages, I woke up earlier than planned a few days and wrote before hitting the road.

I spent some serious time months ago outlining the story arc for all characters in the play, including what I wanted accomplished in each scene for both plot development and character development. This is making it easier to execute where the dialogue should go as well as help me estimate the length of each scene.

My Goal

I want to stay true to my ten-page goal by Sunday night. I want to complete Act I Scenes IV and V. Scene IV should be interesting because both characters in the scene don’t respect each other, yet want something from each other.

How are your writing goals coming along this week?

My NaNoWriMo Round 2: Week 1

My NaNoWriMo Round 2: Week 1 KLWightman.com
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My NaNoWriMo Round 2: Week 1 KLWightman.com

Credit: tuaw.com

It’s that time of year again: NaNoWriMo.

No, I didn’t sign up for it this year.

But I am picking up where I left off last year.

In case you don’t remember, I like to participate in NaNoWriMo my own way. Instead of trying to complete a novel in one month and feeling miserable on December 1 that I only wrote down a handful of pages, I designed my own November challenge that I know I can tackle.

Here are the rules:

1. I choose one writing project to be my focus.

2. I aim to write at least 10 pages each week. No less.

3. I blog each week in November about my progress, my successes, my obstacles and my goals.

That’s it.

Actually, that’s quite a commitment. But I know I can do it.

How are you participating this year in NaNoWriMo? Share your goals below.