Kick start good writing habits

For those who want to write THE END  or see our work published, we need to write. Put in the time and get those words on the page. For some, it’s writing daily and for others, it’s writing when we can, between bouncing that baby and the day job.

Whatever is eating your time, having a simple plan will help get the words out. It’s important to note that every plan needs tweaking and adjusting. I tinker with mine each year as I learn to write for longer periods (but not necessarily faster) without distractions. 

While none of these are new, they are often overlooked.

Here is how I started.

  1. Write a plan for the week. Make it simple. We are more likely to execute goals that are simple and uncluttered. Lists are great, but I get overwhelmed seeing all those to-dos. I’m also a fan of seeing progress on paper. 

Goal: 500 words per-day

Day One/Monday        Day Two/Tuesday

250 words                250 words

250 words                250 words

Repeat the process depending on your goal and the number of days you intend to write. Write in one sitting or bit by bit. Either way, check off your accomplishments as you hit them. Even 500 words a day adds to a full-length novel a year. I’ve attached a simple daily planning sheet below.

Repeat. Write. Repeat.

2. Reduce distractions during writing time. Yep, that means Facebook and other social media. Honestly, this is a challenge. By day five, I was dying. But no one un-friended me for not responding during my writing hours.

3. Find a buddy. Can’t claim every buddy will have your commitment either. Finding an accountability buddy to share our experience with will help reinforce good habits and writing behaviors.

4. Be positive. Negativity sneaks in unexpectedly and often we don’t hear it in our language. Negativity will zap your creativity every time. Make it part of your daily routine to speak one positive statement about your writing, your success, your dreams, etc. And for Pete’s sake, celebrate all those daily word count checkmarks.

I would love to know what habits work for you.

Stay safe and happy, and maybe just a little naughty!


Four reminders I’m practicing as an indie author

Over the last few weeks, I realized how important simple reminders are. With my routine and my family’s routine out of whack, I fell into that trap of telling myself I wasn’t doing enough when it came to my writing. This was especially so because I was preparing a new book for release.

  1. When I’m frustrated by the long process from writing to publication to earning, I remind myself there is more than one way to the top. 

Some authors achieve success (whatever that looks like to them) after publishing one book. Others in book five. Some, not until book twenty-two. The latter is not appealing but is closer to the reality for lots of indie authors. It goes to show that with persistence and patience, success is achievable. I remind myself that my way is the right way for me and my career.

  • I write to my tune.

When I decided to embark on a career in writing, I was overwhelmed by the multitude of writing advice about writing four, five, and ten books a year. And don’t get me started on rapid release and writing to market. It took time but I realized it was okay to do all or none of those things as long as I had a plan, or as you know from my other posts (Sustaining my writing during stressful times), goals that could be carried out from start to finish.

If there is one constant across the board it would be to keep writing. Write the next book. Write, edit, publish, repeat.

  • Leverage community.

Great communities have helped increase and improve my skills. Usually, during the summer, my in-person writing group takes a break. This summer three of us have committed to writing more, not less, holding each other accountable with weekly check-ins and critique exchanges.

  • Invest in me.

There are three main areas in which I invest in myself but everyone’s area of need will be different. Mine are:

  • Health – Without good health, I will struggle to keep pace. Anxiety and stress will set in. Good health means I get to keep doing what I love.
  • Family – I believe that a healthy work-family life balance is an extension of good health practices.
  • Career – There are lots of parts to invest in here: financial, craft, marketing, business management, etc. As an indie author, I may choose to outsource some of this but I believe it’s important to know what I want and have enough business sense to minimize my blunders.

Week 5

Small steps: Can be accomplished now.

Write daily (no matter the word count). Received book two back from editor and spent the last two weeks reviewing and started editing. 

Short term goals: Can be accomplished in one week.

Work on marketing twice per weekWorking book two cover which I’m hoping to reveal soon.

Long term goals: one month

Finish book 2In the middle of book two edits.

Dream: three months or more

Publish 1 story a month starting May – October

Publish 6 titles in six months

Works completed:

  1. The Captain’s Lady – first draft, edits, cover and formatting done. July release
  2. Champion of the Isles – first draft, edits, format and cover done. August release
  3. Loved by a Lady – first draft

What I’m listening to: 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better