Getting That First Draft Done…Like, Now

painting of author stuck

As I continue revising, editing, and polishing my novel, Passage of Promise, as it runs through my online critique group, in my spare time, I drop into my novella, Mourning Dove,  switching it from first to third person as I did with my novel because I prefer that. I’ve also revised sections and added scenes. Actually, I still have a few more scenes I need to add that were prompted through beta reader and hubby feedback.

But in the past couple of days, I’ve reached to the back burner where my WIP (work in progress), What She Didn’t Know, has been sitting the last two months, waiting to have me add scenes and chapters.

So, I wrote up a scene and chapter yesterday, and it felt good. I wasn’t sure I could get back into the story, but what always helps me is reading previous chapters to prime the creative pump and get myself back into the lives of the three sisters in the case of this story.

Yesterday, I shared with my husband the many plot points and my characters in my WIP. After explaining all the different relationship conflicts with each of the three sisters, my husband said, “What is this? A soap opera?” Haha!

I told him these types of storylines often go through my head. I asked his opinion on one of my ideas for one of the minor characters (one that could be fatal or not fatal). He chose the second and said, “I think there’s already enough drama.”

Oh, but we writers thrive on drama with our characters. It’s called conflict in the world of writers. 😀

I started What She Didn’t Know January 14, 2018. A freaking year ago! I can’t believe I haven’t finished it yet!

Three months. I’m giving myself three months to at least write as many of the chapters I’ve got notes on as I can, hoping the first draft will be done by the end of that time period. If not, at least it’ll be close.

writing's hard gif

First drafts can be very difficult. I’ve read plenty of articles of fellow writers struggling to finish their novels. I blame my half-done piece on working on my other done pieces.

It’s never taken me this long to write a story of any type. It’s time to hunker down.

All fellow writers struggling through their first drafts, let’s unite in getting them done before summer!

And DON’T GIVE UP! You know your story is good and worth the effort! Your characters are calling your name, telling you they’re waiting for their next encounters, next conflicts, next DRAMA. 😉

Happy writing!

 

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The Importance of Your Creative Work Space

desk and windows

I’m sharing a post by fellow blogger, Nicholas Rossis, who shared a guest post about your work space and how it can help and improve your creative writing.  Until today, I’d been sitting on my bed writing, and well, that wasn’t really the best place to be a creative writer.  So, these tips helped me to change that, and I’m now sitting in my living room/library at my desk, and I already feel better having the space to type and write and  the fortunate treat of being able to look out the picture window that I believe will help to inspire me to create many imaginative characters, settings, and stories (God willing!).

I hope this shared post is beneficial to your writing.

This is a guest post by Jade Anderson is an experienced In-house Editor at Upskilled. With a background in online marketing, Jade runs some successful websites of her own. Her passion for the education industry and content is displayed through the quality of work she offers.

6 Tips for Making a Workspace Conducive to Writing

No matter what type of content you’re writing, whether it’s fiction, investigative journalism, feature pieces or academic articles, the environment that you write in has a big impact on how well you put that piece together. Writing takes skill, for sure, but where you write can affect how you write because if there are distractions in your workplace, your writing is likely to reflect that. As a writer, your workspace should be inspiring and comfortable in equal measure. It should be somewhere you can focus and reflect. Here are five tips for creating the perfect writing workspace.

2. Make Sure You Have Privacy

One criterion for success when it comes to writing is consistency. Often, this means writing something every day. But it also means trying to work in the space every time you write. In order to find a space where you are going to be able to be productive most days, you need to consider the level of privacy you will have. Choose a space where you’re able to be alone with your projects and your thoughts without being distracted by background noise or other people. This can simply mean working in a room in your house that has a door or finding an area where there is little to no foot traffic. Having a private, dedicated area that is yours allows you to have a distraction-free workspace.

3. Consider Your Desk And Chair

How comfortable your desk and chair are, are important factors that affect how productive you are. If you feel cramped or uncomfortable, you’re far more likely to get distracted and want to stop working. Chances are, you’ll be sitting and typing for long stretches of time, so you need a space that is ergonomic. Make sure that your desk and chair are at the right height so you don’t have to strain or hunch to work on your computer. You need a chair that will support your back and encourage good posture. As for your desk, it must provide enough space for everything you need.

4. Declutter

It is hard to work amongst clutter. Physical clutter can cause mental clutter, leaving us feeling distracted and unfocused. Getting rid of unnecessary mess and creating a clutter-free space is one of the key steps in creating an environment conducive to writing. While decluttering can take some time and hard work, it pays off. Set aside a day to declutter the space you wish to work in and decide what items you will throw out, what you’ll donate, and what you’ll keep. If you have furniture, files or belongings that you want to keep but don’t necessarily need right now, consider putting these things into storage. Using community storage is an affordable and convenient option should you find yourself in this situation.

5. Make It Yours

Your workspace is a space for you. You want it to reflect your personality and to be a place where you feel comfortable and at home. While you shouldn’t fill it with personal belongings that may be distracting or cause clutter, you should put some effort into personalizing the area. This can be with artwork, photos or other decorative features that you feel express your personality. As a writer, you may wish to personalize your space by filling it with your favorite books or quotes from your favorite authors!

6. Go For Natural Light

Regardless of your industry, natural light has been proven to impact productivity. The sun boosts your mood, gives you energy, and can stimulate creativity. For these reasons, natural light is particularly important for writers. If you’re working from home, it might be difficult to find a room with natural light to work in. However, even if you can work in front of a window or in a room with a skylight, this is better than nothing. Adequate light is important no matter what time of the day. If you’re working into the evenings, ensure that you have artificial lighting so you can read and write without straining your eyes.

7. Have What You Need On Hand

In order to work productively in your workspace, you should have everything you need to work on hand and ready to go. In the digital age, this might mean having all your tech accessories, chargers, and screens neatly arranged by your desk so they are easily accessible at all times. For writers, having two screens can be particularly useful. This allows you to have multiple windows open if you are researching and writing at the same time. If you still like the traditional pen-to-paper method when you’re figuring out your ideas, ensure you have plenty of supplies at hand in your desk drawers or on your desk.

 

 

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How Creative Writing Can Boost Your Intelligence (Guest Blog Post)

This is a reblog of my fellow blogger, Nicholas C. Rossis’ guest blog post.  I thought it was important to share.  Credit goes to Nicholas and guest blogger Sally Keys.

 

This is a guest post by Sally Keys. You may remember her from her guest post, Creating The Time And Space You Need To Write Your Best Work. Sally is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, she enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family, and traveling as much as possible.

How Creative Writing Can Boost Your Intelligence

Globally, the average IQ has increased by 20 points over the last 100 years. Many reasons are given for this and all, no doubt, play a part. The fact is that we live in a very different world to the one of 100 years ago. By examining these differences and comparing them to research into intelligence, we can determine ways to boost our own IQs. Creative writing can play a major part in this but only if you are pushing your writing standards to the limit.

What Is Different About Today?

Globalisation has led to multiculturalism becoming the norm. Diethas improved dramatically and, along with basic medication, we have all but eradicated many of the illnesses that struck us down in childhood. Film, television, and mass production of books have all played a part in increasing our exposure to new ideas. Computers for communication, leisure, and research all provide a range of inputs that simply did not exist in the past. New stimuli are known to stimulate the prefrontal cortex (an area of the brain linked to intelligence) and our increased globalization and technological development make novelty a regular occurrence (despite how counterintuitive that may sound). Diet and healthcare help our brains develop further (especially at an early age) and free us from having to fight infections or deal with malnourishment.

What Has This To Do With Writing?

There is some evidence that 5 simple steps can help to boost your intelligence. Each of these can be achieved through creative writing if you approach it properly.

The first, seeking novelty, has been mentioned already. By writing about unfamiliar topics, doing research into another country, trying new foods and so on you are pushing yourself to experience the new.

You are also achieving step 2, which is to challenge yourself. Increase your challenge (and introduce more novelty) by stepping out of your comfort zone. Write a chapter in iambic pentameter or in verse, try a different voice for narration, or find any of a million different ways to push yourself. You could challenge yourself further by taking IQ tests. By taking tests before actively pushing yourself when writing, you could experiment and take the tests again at the end to see if you’ve improved.

The next step is the one most obviously linked to writing – think creatively. The simple act of writing fiction is sufficient stimulus to cognitively challenge your brain, but if you want to boost it, you need to think outside of the box. Take your creativity to the next level by remembering to seek novelty and by challenging yourself. Whilst our novelty-rich modern world has boosted our intelligence as a species, there is something to be said for doing things the hard way. Old-fashioned methods often bring their own cognitive challenges, especially as modern methods become more familiar.

Which leads us to the fourth tip; to do things the hard way. Write your first drafts long-hand. Turn off the grammar and spell checkers when you write it up and edit manually. Do some of your research from books instead of the internet. Taking the longer, slower route brings with it new challenges that cause new stimulation.

The final tip takes us back to one of the ways in which the modern world is different to the old, but it also turns it on its head. We live in multicultural societies and interact with people from across the globe, but do we really know people as well as we used to? The concept of communities seems to have gotten lost along the way. As a writer, the final stage of your work is to share it. If you aren’t taking this step, then you are missing out on the 5th tip, to network. Sharing ideas with others who have faced similar challenges and getting to know them both in person and through their work, will help you increase your intelligence – and improve your writing.