You’re halfway through Write by Midnight. Now is the time to celebrate your accomplishments. If you’re meeting your goals, try raising the bar and seeing how much more you can achieve. If you’re not on track, now is the time to reassess and refine your expectations. Remember, the goal of Write by Midnight is to establish a solid writing habit. You only have two weeks to go. Go find that second wind.
Tag Archives: writing tips
It can be hard to focus on your work when there are other things screaming for your attention. One way to increase productivity is to put yourself into a writing bubble. Tell your family, coworkers and friends that you’re writing now and want to focus on your work. Let them know they can have your attention when you’re done. Put your phone in another room and disconnect from the internet. If stray sounds distract you from your writing, try using a white noise maker or playing background music. Sometimes, noise-canceling ear plugs are the better way to go. If you respect your own writing time, others will do the same, and you’ll be that much closer to getting published.
Don’t fret if you’re having trouble coming up with the perfect words during the Write by Midnight challenge. The important thing is to spend time writing or improving your work-in-progress. Placeholder sentences are the saving grace for many writers during the first draft. When you know what needs to happen but inspired prose fails you, flag the spot with a symbol like a double hashtag or ampersand – something that’s easily searchable later – and tell what you want to show. Then move on. You can revisit the phrasing when inspiration strikes or during the editing phase.
Setting a timer helps many writers become more productive. Start with a short period of time – anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. When time’s up, take an even shorter break – anywhere from five to 10 minutes. During the break, do something physical. Taking a short walk, grabbing a bite to eat, dancing to your favorite song, even household chores will get the blood pumping, stimulate your senses and rejuvenate you for your next writing stretch. Avoid tasks like watching television, reading a book, checking social media, surfing the web – they’re apt to sap your focus away from the story in your head.
When your break is over, reset the timer and repeat. Try extending the writing time to break time ratio. If you wrote for 15 minutes and took a 5-minute break, try writing for 30 minutes with a 10-minute break. Keep tweaking the ratio until you find the most productive method for you.
Now that 2018 is under way, it’s time to gear up for our second annual write-a-thon. The Write by Midnight challenge encourages you to make daily writing a priority. Throughout the month of February, we will offer suggestions, prompts and encouragement aimed at helping you get something written every day by midnight. Writing each day helps you establish a writing habit that you will be able to carry forward into the rest of the year.
Starting Feb. 1, visit us here or follow @WriteOwls #WriteByMidnight on Twitter as we share insights and our personal stories of how we’re meeting our daily goals. We’ll also offer tips for boosting your productivity and other helpful resources to help you stay the course.
If you participated in last year’s Write by Midnight challenge, we encourage you to push yourself even further this year. Perhaps you are already in the habit of writing 300 words a day. If so, try to add to your daily word count during this year’s challenge. If you currently write for 30 minutes a day, could you up that to 45 minutes or even an hour? If you’re revising, double how many scenes you revise in the same time period.
If you’re new to this blog, we would encourage you to read through the old Write by Midnight posts to catch up on everything you missed. You can do that by searching under the Write By Midnight category on the right side of your screen.
Between now and Feb. 1, think about what goals you want to reach by the end of February. Put those goals in writing now so you can refer back to them throughout the month. Make them ambitious, but realistic. Now is the time to start thinking about what you want to accomplish and how to do it. Study your daily schedule, looking for minutes here and there that you can dedicate to extra writing time. Check back here next Monday for more tips on how to prepare for Write by Midnight. We look forward to sharing this journey with you.