Getting on with your Writing

Hi there and welcome to October’s Writerly Witterings.

I hope that as the days turn colder and shorter, you’re getting all cosy and managing to schedule some extra writing time for yourself.

You might be thinking of what you’d like to achieve before we reach the end of 2021, whether that’s writing some short stories, poems or something longer.

Getting on with your Writing

Whatever you’re setting out to achieve, this month’s focus on getting started will offer you some support, motivation and inspiration.

I am one of life’s greatest procrastinators. Perhaps you’re like me and at times will clean the oven or dust the skirting boards before eventually sitting down to write.  Yet once you start, you can hardly bear to stop!

Or maybe there’s been an idea burning at you for ages, but something is stopping you from getting started.

One of my most used sayings is that writers write. Of course there will be times when you are chewing thoughts around, or giving an idea time to gather momentum, but unless you open that notebook or laptop, your idea won’t find its way onto the page.

Don’t delay any longer.  At your next opportunity – start!

The following tips will help you get started whether that’s getting started in general or turning a long running idea into a reality. I’ll deal with each one in turn:

Getting Started in General

Stop Procrastinating – Start Writing

  • Schedule your time to write in advance. Decide when you will write and for how long.  You will probably find you lose track of time and go beyond your end time.
  • Similarly, have your place to write prepared. Ensure it is somewhere peaceful and welcoming – an environment you look forward to getting creative in.
  • Decide what you are going to work on before sitting down. Ideally do some repetitive task prior to writing, e.g. walking, ironing, washing the dishes.  Give yourself this space to think about what you will be writing.
  • As with lots of other activities, allow a few minutes to warm up your 'writing muscle.' This could be through free writing or responding to a writing prompt. Google writing prompts or check out my free booklet on Amazon – ‘Writing Inspirations.’
  • If you like to have a plan before you launch in, here are some suggestions:

‘Brainstorm’ what your piece will contain. Make as many notes of words, phrases and images as you can.

Consider the who, where, what, when and why of the piece you will be writing.

Plan out your work start, then, next, middle, then, climax and end.

Using any or all of the above planning strategies, you'll be itching to get started by the time you’ve completed them.

Turning Ideas into Words

Transitioning from Idea to Project

  • Give yourself an attainable goal. This could be a word count such as five hundred words, or a thousand words. Or it could be a time-related goal such as I’ll write for one hour. Don’t move until you’ve achieved that goal.
  • Lots of writers, (me included,) find it difficult to make that leap from note making and thinking into the doing. Start by either opening a purposefully bought notebook or new file and folder on the computer. Give your piece a title, even if for now, it’s just a working one.
  • Make your decision to begin, then begin. Write a word, then a sentence, then another one.  Build it into a paragraph, then write another one.
  • Don’t worry about the opening ‘hook.’ So many writers allow this to prevent them from continuing. This can be revisited.
  • Similarly, don’t worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar. All this can be sorted out later. This stage of writing is you telling the story to yourself.

If you can follow some or all of the ideas above, I promise that it will become impossible to drag you away from your work in progress.

Free Writing Course on YouTube

I have another free ten-day mini writing course, ‘Ten Elements of Writing,’ which takes the writing tools we have available to us back to basics.

Every day, for ten days, I will discuss an element of creative writing and offer a related writing prompt.

As always, there will be a Facebook group available to share and celebrate your responses. (Search on Facebook for Writerly Witterings.) Here’s the order of the ten days:

  1. Writing autobiographically.
  2. Using your own experiences to write fiction.
  3. Presenting a multi-dimensional character.
  4. Creating an atmospheric setting.
  5. How to write authentic dialogue.
  6. Showing, not telling.
  7. Viewpoint and Voice.
  8. Tense
  9. Polishing your writing until it shines.
  10. Getting your words into the world.

Click below for Day One

As you may know, my ethos as a creative writing teacher is to inspire, motivate and support.  If there is anything you’d like me to cover in these blog posts or in my YouTube videos, do let me know and I’ll schedule it in.

Also, I always love to hear your thoughts and responses on my blog posts in the comments box so feel free to post them in.

Enjoy the rest of your writing month and I’ll see you next time. I release a new blog post on the 8th of every month.

Bye for now and enjoy the rest of your writing month.

With very best wishes,

Maria

PS: This blog post is also available as a YouTube video.

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