“Where do I start my story?” is one of the most common questions I get from writers. If you’re like most of my clients, it’s a question that inspires fear, anxiety and overwhelm. So let’s get you to the other side of that yucky equation with the following tip: Start by jumping into the deep end of your story. What do I mean by that? I mean jump right into the heart of the conflict. Let us see—on that very first page—what’s at stake. That’s called a hook, and it’s what will pull a reader in. What often happens instead when we sit down to write is that we get all tangled up in backstory. After all, we want to set the context, explain who everyone is, what’s going on, etc., etc., etc. The problem with this approach is that it can take […]
How Long Does it Really Take to Write a Book?
This is Part 2 of a 3-Part Series: What I Wish I’d Known Then. (Click here if you missed Part 1: Don’t Give Away Your Power) In my Memoir Mastery class this week, we’ve been talking about expectations. A lot of times, folks think that writing a book will be easier than it is. We simply don’t know what’s involved and how long it’ll take. And if you’ve seen those Write Your Book in a Weekend programs, that’ll create its own unrealistic expectations. On the other end of the spectrum are the literary/academic folks, who think it’ll take years and years to perfect the craft of creating a perfect book. More on that in a sec. Let’s start with the Write a Book in a Weekend camp first. Is it really possible to write a book in a short period of time? It […]
5 Tips to Get You Writing NOW
Starting (or restarting) a writing routine can be one of the most stressful parts of writing. Here are 5 tips to get you up and running as quickly and easily as possible. Tip #1: Don’t wait for inspiration. One of the biggest myths out there is that writers wait for inspiration, which then beams down, God-like, to the chosen few. Whoa, Nelly. Nothing could be further from the truth. Writing, at its essence, is work. It’s something you sit down and do, over and over. And the best writers are those who sit down, day in and day out, to get their stories onto the page. Writing, revising, revising again. Check, check and check. This is the cold, hard, not-so-sexy truth of writing. Like lots of other things in life (eating well, exercising, etc.), a consistent writing practice is a habit. Nothing more, […]
Creating a Writing Schedule that Works for You
How do you create a writing schedule that works for you? And why should you bother? Because it can make writing so much easier. When you’re working on a book or any other big project, it’s important to have a consistent writing practice that you can actually adhere to—one that fits your real (read: big, full, lovely, messy) life, not some ideal, future version of yourself (read: perfect fantasy person who can DO all things and BE all things). The secret to creating your writing schedule is figuring out what works for YOU (not someone else) and readjusting as you go. Here’s what that looks like: Maybe your initial goal was to write 5 hours a week. Ambitious, yes, but you want to get that sucker written! Great start! However, after the first week, you realize that it’s pretty friggin hard to fit […]