The greatest benefit of attending a Writing Conference is the massive amount of information and motivation a writer gains by being surrounded by like-minded muses. In this economy, the cost has been a huge obstacle for me, but in this series of posts about Writing Conferences without the Conference, I’m energizing my writing by focusing on the outcome.
The outcome every writer strives for is the well-written sentence. The secondary goal is the amount of well-written sentences. That leads to the focus of today: double your output, double the fun, double the effort, double your success, double your efforts without doubling the time and money.
Those all sound good, huh?
Double your output. Join NaNoWriMo.com this November for National Novel Writing Month. There is no fee, although a small donation goes a long way, and it helps you track your goals. Essentially, you come to the table (dining, coffee shop, or T.V. stand) with an idea and you write 1,600+ words a day to meet the goal of 50,000 words throughout the month. It’s true that the result can be 40,000 words of blech, but hey, that’s 40,000 words you got out of the way and now you can get onto the good stuff, or mold that blech into gold (because we all know alchemy only exists in the arts).
Double the fun. Find a writing partner or a writing group. Meet once a week, every other week, once a month – but meet and keep it consistent. This is an important part of writing for two reasons:
1. Writing is a lonely, solitary career. A friend, a co-worker is essential part of our successes. Here is my post about my beautiful writing partner, Beth: http://bit.ly/OVUB9I
2. Our writing improves only when it can be read by a trusted friend and fellow word-lover.
Double the Effort. Day two’s post about effort is so important, I’m bringing it up again. Effort is the fuel, writing is the tool. Keep track of your effort and up the motivation by writing in a Writing Journal. Sounds a little redundant, I know, but great minds and authors keep a journal of their work efforts. It looks like this: Before you set down any word of your new novel, short story, memoir, or poem, write a note to yourself about what you are bringing to your writing that day.
For example, today’s note to myself was this: “The to-do list is actually calling out my name. I can hear it. I put it in the freezer so I don’t have to think about it until tomorrow when I take out the meat for dinner. Today I will add the edits from my printed manuscript to the computer. I will finish that blog post and spend 40 minutes on the synopsis. Then I will celebrate my frozen to-do list with a small glass of wine.” See, my writing in my Writing Journal is nothing profound, just my voice, my life, my challenges. Other days have celebration entries when I feel that I’ve really nailed a scene. And, yes, there are a few entries where I toy with the idea of giving up writing…but those are just vent sessions. The idea of giving up writing is as silly as decided to never drive a car again.
Double your success. This will naturally happen when the effort is made. Not only will ‘the writing’ begin to happen, your writing will evolve into something beautiful and your goals will transform into stacks of manuscripts. By doubling your efforts, you will naturally double your success.
Double your resources. Increasing your writing is step one. If your story is written, edited, critiqued and revised, it’s time to send it out into the big world of submissions. Sign up for Hope Clark’s weekly newsletter: FundsforWriters for a weekly boost of information, motivation and submission possibilities. Spend the afternoon at the library with the Writer’s Market 2013, taking note of what agents and publishers are looking for the genre you write. Scour the Internet for magazines, anthologies and e-zines for submission policies. And then take the plunge – submit!
Because today’s word was “Doubled”, it is fitting to provide a second theme for double-the-motivation:
U – You decide
You decide on success or failure.
You decide when to write, when to read, when to take a walk.
You decide if the fate of characters strengthens or weakens your book.
You decide to wake up early and write or to sleep in and deepen the dent in your pillow.
You decide if you will reach your goals by watching movies, meeting up with friends or taking on too much work.
You decide your focus, your determination.
You decide to renew your focus and determination each day.
That’s what will get you to the last edited page.
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