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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Need Help With Your Writing Discipline?

This week my radar's been tuned to the discipline of writing and, therefore, I found several good places for help.

1.  Margie Lawson's Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors (class notes packet @ $22/each) found here: http://www.margielawson.com/lecture-packets/defeat-self-defeating-behaviors.  I plan to invest in myself by purchasing it later this month.  From a recent recommendation on this ML course, it sounds a lot like the premises within FLYLady.net, so I'm on board.

2.  A wonderful blog by Rachel Aaron (sometimes "RA") about how she increased her daily writing from 2K to 10K, here is that link: http://thisblogisaploy.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/how-i-went-from-writing-2000-words-day.html.  A quick synopsis of her three-point process is to (a) prewrite, freehand, just for five minutes what you plan to write on today; (b) track your time investment and see what time of day/locales make for higher daily WC; and (c) enthusiasm--if your scene bores you, your readers will be bored too, so don't waste your time on it--write the scene you (and then your readers) love.

3.  I see another post by Rachel Aaron re editing for people who hate editing (which I have yet to read but based on the above article, I'm betting it's just great).  Her link is here:  http://thisblogisaploy.blogspot.com/2012/02/editing-for-people-who-hate-editing.html.

4.  Again, I've only read about this and have not participated, but there is a Twitter following re #1k1hr which seems to be a daily writing deadline that I will check out.

5.  Another not-yet-investigated avenue is a Yahoo! group that writes one hundred WC for one hundred days or you have to start over if you miss a day.  The link I wrote down doesn't work, so here's another link:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/100WordsChallenge/.  From one posting I read about this procedure, you get a certificate in the mail for each one-hundred-day period you successfully complete.  Again, writing discipline.  I need more of that.

Of course, I'm a big NaNo proponent and it fulfills the Rachel Aaron "triangle" approach noted above in item #2.  Per NaNo, I can outline before November, prepare for my novel, just not write it until Day 1.  That's RA's point (a).  Within Nano, we track our time.  More loosely than RA's point (b), but we at least know we did fifty thousand words in thirty days--therefore, Rachel's spreadsheet idea is a good one for monitoring productivity.  Plus, NaNo participation is fully enthused with the energy of a massive amount of authors gathered together.  Not exactly RA's point (c) which is more on an individual basis, but enthusiasm makes NaNo ROCK, so why not use this element on our other projects?

Now I just need to translate that to the other months of the year.

With my freelance work, I keep daily records so I know how many hours each project took to complete.  Having worked decades with time-keeping attorneys, it comes instinctively to me.  Yet, I had not applied it to my novel creating.  Duh!

I love Rachel's honesty and humor and self-deprecating insight.  These were quite simple revelations, yet so elegant.  So wise.  I've noted in my own postings how my light-bulb moments seem so obvious--and yet, that is where they are hidden most times.

Thanks for sharing, Rachel!

Denise Barker, author
Good Ole Boys, a love story
Professional Freelance Copy Editor

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