1. Write Everyday
Time is a valuable resource. Make it work for you. Writing everyday moves you closer to project completion and chips away at the distance between conception and goal. You are adding value daily. Don’t wait to feel like writing; develop the disciplined habit of setting aside time everyday. If you are stuck, then review previous passages that may provide an additional word or phrase that gets your story moving again.
2. Stay Alert for Distractions
They are dream killers. Fight back by tightening your focus on the work in front of you before moving on to something else. Focus eliminates distractions and makes it easier to spot mistakes. It will move you forward despite challenges. Focus fosters boldness in support of your struggles by concentrating attention on the goal of completing your project. Distractions only live if you feed into them. They have no power without your consent.
3. Remember to Keep a Writer’s Notebook/Journal
Having a specific place to keep your ideas helps to strengthen your creative endeavors. It jogs your memory. It helps in developing projects. It becomes a beacon of light during times of struggle when you feel like giving up.
4. Write Right
Improve your writing skills with any writing you do. Whether writing a thank-you note, an invitation to a gathering, a letter to an old friend, a social media post, a response that must be documented and sometimes even a text message, use appropriate grammar, punctuation and style. When you do, your writing ability becomes stronger.
5. Remember You’re Telling a Story
Whether you’re writing a novel, poem, script, musical project, play, essay or a biography, you are telling a story. One of your goals is to have the readers join you on the journey. Not only must you keep their interest in the present but they want the back story. They want a resolution of conflict between past and present. Are you keeping them hopeful?
6. Engage Your Readers’ Emotions
If you want them to take the journey with you, they must be emotionally involved with words and phrases that reach out to them. Remember Longfellow’s poem about Paul Revere? Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. In this poem, from the beginning readers know Longfellow is telling a compelling story. He is speaking to a special group, children. He calls them to attention, listen. He makes them feel special by setting them apart, my children. These words draw the readers to him to hear the important message that is about to unfold. The children, like all readers want to hear the story.The words evoke heightened curiosity of what is to come. Think about books you have read that touched your emotions. Then answer the question: how were words used to engage your interest and emotions?
7. Watch Out for Hidden Barriers
They are not always obvious. They hide behind normal everyday existence. One of the barriers you don’t recognize may be limiting your efforts and progress. Barriers are often erected by past experiences, biases, nurturing, trust or methods you learned to use in resolving issues around strong emotions.
8. Your Characters Will Tell Their Stories
If you’re writing fiction, let your characters speak for themselves. If you’ve developed them by including specifics about their environments, families, friends, what they think about the most important aspects of their lives and why, their culture, fears, proudest moments and any personality quirks that affect them; then they will tell the readers what they want them to know.
9. Be Prepared When You Reach a Plateau
When you seem to be standing still despite all your efforts you’re at a plateau. Plateauing is a dangerous time. Your enthusiasm may flatten. During this period you’re not receiving the positive feedback you want because your disciplined actions appear not to produce progress. Patience is required. Check your idea book, notes or review what you have already written to jog your creative flow. Maybe its time to take a break. Know the difference between break-time and procrastination.
10. Tell, Tell, Tell
Don’t be shy. Spread the word. Use the power of social media. Never stop marketing your project even as it is still in the process of being written. Let your readers know about your progress. Develop a short concise statement that encapsulates the story you’re writing.