Tag Archives: writing routines

The Labor of Writing Takes Various Forms

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

Dear Writer Friends,

On the morning of August 5th, I got my three kids in the car and drove them to school. Summer had been fun and I loved our long, lazy days. But let me tell you, I was ready to get back to work. With the same measure of excitement as my six-year-old starting his first year at a new school, I was going to make the time I had to write massively productive; I wasn’t going to waste a single second. Not even a millisecond. Continue reading

Write by Midnight Pep Talk 6-24-19

Next month, set up your own, little writing retreat to make distraction-free progress on your project. Treat it like a workshop that you paid to attend.

Plan it: Designate a specific time for your retreat whether that’s every afternoon or a weekend. Pick the place for your retreat, whether that’s a locked bedroom, a hotel room, library or cafe. Somewhere where you won’t be disturbed.

Name it: Call it a writing camp or workshop or give it some other specific name.

Announce it: Tell your family, friends and anybody else that might bother you that you will not be available during those days and times. If you have to physically leave your house to get alone time, then pick another place!

Execute it: Set a realistic goal for your retreat and follow through.

A Head Clearing Ritual

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

I’m a morning person, always have been, so my day begins around 5am, Monday-Friday. Perhaps you are the same, perhaps not. But getting up early didn’t necessarily mean that I was ready to hunker down and work on my book.

In fact, it took me an embarrassingly long time to sort out what I needed to ready myself to write, but once I did, I found that having a pre-writing ritual, one that begins before I go to bed, has helped me prepare, physically and mentally, to focus on my work. Continue reading

Celebrate Your Success with Write by Midnight

Write by Midnight wraps up today and we hope the past month has helped you create daily habits to sustain your writing through the completion of your manuscript.

In addition to our regular posts, be sure to check back with us on the last Monday of each month for our Write by Midnight Pep Talks that include tips and inspiration to help you keep your momentum going.

Until then, here’s how each of us fared with this year’s challenge.

Laura Ayo

Laura: Because I was working on a new manuscript during this year’s Write by Midnight session, my goals were to “work on” the project every day in February. Generally speaking, my method consisted of a two-part “plan then write” formula. On one day, I would plan a scene during my designated “writing” time. My planning process included figuring out what needed to happen in the scene, what obstacles and/or growth the characters experienced in the scene, and basic research since my new WIP is a historical fiction piece. Sometimes, the planning process involved talking through what needed to happen next with my writing friends. They are consistently a source of support, encouragement and solid advice. Then the next day, I used my writing time to write that scene now that it was clear in my head. Sometimes, the writing of the scene took me two to three days. As soon as one scene was completed, I repeated the process. Plan, research, discuss, write, repeat. I’m happy to report that I completed five scenes by using this method. But more important, my story stayed in my head every day during the month.

Stacey Kite

Stacey’s been on fire with her writing, so she’ll check in with us later to share her thoughts on Write by Midnight.

 

 

 

 

Megan Norris Jones

Megan: Write by Midnight was hugely motivating for me this year. I started the month at a good place in my manuscript where I had all (or most) of the plot snarls worked out and a clear outline all the way to the end of the manuscript. That preparation made it much easier to pound out higher word counts and to take advantage of short writing periods. I set a goal of writing 14,000 words to finish my manuscript by the end of the month. I wrote 11,330 words and made it to the end of my manuscript with an entire week to spare. I used the extra time at the end of the month to plan out my revision and set goals for next month.

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

Naomi: While I didn’t always greet my 5 am wake -up call with a tender nod to the morning, I did manage to write for all but six days out of February. I gotta say, being in cahoots with other writers was a massive energy surge for me this month and I got excited about two projects that had been collecting dust! One of my main goals for this year’s WBM was to revise 1/3 of the YA manuscript I finished a while back (Ok, fine, I’ll be honest. A long while back!) Some days were definitely more productive than others and I confess I didn’t quite meet my goal. I’d like to believe my less productive days, ones where I only managed to revised a single paragraph for instance, still propelled me forward. Everything we do counts. It is believed that Vincent Van Gogh once said: “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” It’s a great reminder. Because piece by piece things are coming together.

We’d love to hear from you about your Write by Midnight experience. Tell us how you did, what you learned, what you’d like to see from us next year and what your writing goals are for the month of March.

Write By Midnight Tip 2-27-19

With one day left in Write by Midnight, you’ve hopefully got your writing routine down pat by now. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t use a change of scenery to help you finish the month strong. If you’ve been writing in a home office, try heading to the kitchen table or a porch for today’s writing session. Or better yet, leave the distractions of household responsibilities for later and take your writing to a public space. If you often write in a cafe, try a library, park  or even the comfort of your own home today instead.

Writing at a different time of day can also be a welcome change. Try writing during your lunch break or during your commute. If those aren’t options, set aside an hour during your normal evening routine to write instead of watching television or even reading a good book. Or, wake up an hour earlier tomorrow to end Write by Midnight on a high note.