Writing Tips

How I plan to consistently write this summer

I plan on having a writing-heavy summer! This means having a plan and also being flexible. I think that’s where we can fall short with any of our goals; not having a clear plan to follow even when tired or confused, or not being flexible enough with our plans so that we can veer off the path, adapt, and still succeed.

Anyway, here is how I plan to write consistently this summer.

Multiple projects

It can be dangerous but this year I have four writing projects on the go! Luckily they’re all very different. They are ideas that I have worked on this year and would like to write at some point. This means no matter my mood or energy level or inspiration, there is always something I can be writing.

Challenges set

I have set myself a friendly challenge with reminders clear on my phone and in my planner. This challenge isn’t a harsh one. But it does inspire me to try harder and leave excuses behind.

I have a day counter on my phone which counts down until the challenge is complete, so I know how long I have left and it acts as a deadline. I have a word count note on my phone and printed off so I can see how I’m progressing. I also have a habit tracker for writing in my planner so I can see how often I’m writing.

Mixing it up

This year I am allowing myself to write in different genres and mediums. This means I’m less likely to get bored and stop writing. I get to write something, as I said before, regardless of mood or interest.

Feeling fantastical? Write my middle-grade fantasy. Feeling gory? Write my adult fantasy. Feeling introspective or contemplative? Write my young adult, magical realism contemporary. Feeling low on energy? Write my magical realism short story collection.

Writing space

I have a desk, but I sadly don’t use it as much now that I live away from my mom’s house. But I know I write better at my desk. Having a dedicated writing space tells your brain that it’s time to write. So find a space, make it nice, and use it!

Writing buddies

Having friends who are writers helps a lot. I plan to speak with my writing buddies often throughout the summer so that we can motivate one another. Even if it feels like bragging, I want us to tell each other when we have a good writing session so we can motivate one another to get going.

Flexibility

I am allowing myself to write what I feel called to write. This means flexibility of projects, length, content, etc. Forget the rules! I’m not a published author or writing to a deadline set by a publishing house, so I’m allowed to be flexible and free and write for fun. As long as I’m always writing!

Scale it back

Smaller milestones and expectations relieve the pressure and make it easier to get into things. If I say that I need to write 5,000 words today, I will feel more resistance and fear. Instead, 500 words is a more manageable goal. The same goes for total novel length. Forget about the rules. The first draft of any story doesn’t need a set word count. Who cares at this point in your journey?

Yes, publishable manuscripts need to meet certain word length requirements but drafts don’t! Write it as rough and quick and messy and short as you want. Just write.

Low expectations

Let it be rough as hell! Write the girl went to the shop and had some fun. It’s fine. It’s a draft. Lower your expectations. It doesn’t need to be Neil Gaiman-good right now.

Get to the point

Cut to the chase and forget the fluff for the moment. If all my scenes are rushed and fast-paced, that’s fine! Lots of novels have fluff that isn’t needed anyway. A draft doesn’t need it.

Start a scene as late into it as possible, and end it as quickly as possible. That means your characters don’t need to walk down the road, then get on the bus, then say hello to their friends… Just start the scene where the action is, make something happen that’s important, then get out of the scene.

Have fun

If I’m not enjoying it, what’s the point? Yes, writing isn’t always fun or easy. Sometimes you do have to push yourself to get started even when it’s hard, but it should be a story that brings your joy. One you’re excited to write. If it’s not fun for you overall, take a step back and ask why. Make a change. Make it fun again!

There you have it, some of my ideas on how I will hopefully consistently write this summer. It’s working so far, but I want even more consistency! Check out 2020’s writing manifesto if you’re interested in more ideas.

Happy writing!

Sincerely,

S. xx

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