When someone comes up to me and tells me they’ve been struggling with setting up daily writing habits, committing to a writing practice, or even time management (fitting writing into a busy lifestyle), one of the first questions I will ask:
Have you identified yourself as a writer?
Identity is one of the key foundational elements to a writing journey. There is very little success or forward progress for anyone who doesn’t believe that they are a writer. And yet, it’s one of the most common areas that writers forget to nurture.
About eight years ago, my husband, two children, and I were in a taxi. The cabbie asked my husband what he did for a living. They shared a small exchange before the cabbie looked at me in the rear-view mirror and asked me what I do for a living.
I said, “I take care of these two sugar cubes,” referring to my two children sitting on either side of me.
My son Riley looked up at me and said, “And you’re a writer.”
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One of the top struggles I hear about from writers is the inability to finish a project. Reasons run the gamut from “not having enough time” to “lost confidence.” Rather than tangling ourselves up with figuring out methods on HOW to finish, I want you to focus on WHY you are a writer.
Because writing purpose is the foundation of your journey.
Your purpose is what drives you. Your purpose is what keeps you motivated. Your purpose is what supports and encourages you through the tough spots.
You have to ask yourself:
- “Why am I a writer?”
- “Why is this story rattling around in my soul?”
- “Why is this story keeping me up at night?”
- “What do I see myself, as a writer, doing in five years? Ten?”
- “How will I feel if I don’t write?”
- “How does writing make me feel when it’s going well? When it’s going not so well?”
If you can figure any of that out—and hopefully your answers aren’t tied in any way to making a lot of money, because that’s not going to happen, certainly not with your first publication—you have then found the motivation to finish your project. To get your butt in the chair and write every single day.
Your protagonist needs to have a story goal. This is above and beyond an urge or desire or hope. A story goal is concrete, and it requires steps that will lead the character into the story’s conflict. Learn five steps you can take to figure out your protagonist’s story goal.
Point of view (POV) is a course in itself. Seriously. There are so many facets to think about with point of view – and many of them must be decided before you even begin to write your book.
Telling your story from the WRONG POV is very easy to do.
Imagine writing an entire manuscript in the wrong POV? All your scenes, all your
narrative, everything that happens won’t work
. Your story will lack tension and conflict. The POV character’s goals or motivations will be weak or uninteresting. Your story’s pace will be sluggish and unfocused. The setting, description, and inner story will all be affected because the wrong character is giving us the
information–likely information that your reader doesn’t need or care about.
How do we get started on figuring out the best POV for our stories?
Hey there, Writers!
Popping in with a mini-post on WRITER’S BLOCK for y’all! This is one of my lessons from my FREE writing course How to Fill Your Creative Well. I’m sharing with you because it’s valuable advice for any writer at any part of the journey that they can use anytime!
Read on —-
Writer’s block happens when your creative well is not full enough of ideas, creative energy, or inspiration.
The worst response a writer can have is to worry about this obstacle. Don’t fret over what to write next, or how to write what you want to write, or start thinking you’re a terrible writer.
Instead, try one of these two tricks:
1. Spend your day learning something new.
2. Spend your day enjoying an old favorite pastime.
If you choose # 1, learning something new, you are filling your creative well with adventure and discovery, you’re solving a mystery, answering a question, crafting a new character or setting or conflict.
If you opt for # 2, enjoying an old favorite pastime, then you are filling your creative well with comfort + familiarity. You are connecting to your conscience, your heart, and your soul. You are taking time away from the pressures of performing and reminding yourself of those things in your life that genuinely move and enchant you. Going back to your roots, where the love of writing first took seed.
For more ideas on how to bust through writer’s block or other tips to help you on your writing journey, check out my FREE writing course –> How to Fill Your Creative Well.
Have a writerly day!