Let’s start with the morale of the story, which is slow and steady wins the race. What kind of writer are you, a tortoise or a hare? If you asked me a month ago, I would have said I’m a tortoise. Five hundred words is a good day. Often a long day.
I’m at my computer from sun up until well past sun down.
It’s hard being a slow writer in an indie world where fast writers are on fire.
I can’t begin to tell you how many fast draft courses I’ve taken or 2K to 10K books and blogs I’ve read, trying to become a faster writer. However, all this self-analysis led me to the conclusion that I’m not a tortoise, but a hare—and a slow cooked hare at that.
Because I’m easily distracted and work in spits and spurts.
I never would have guessed until I started keeping a log.
Yup, you got it—consistency, not speed--is my issue.
Once I identified my real problem, I was able to get on track with a few quick fixes. Like the sprinting turtle in the picture, I’ve come to realize it takes both consistency and speed to get ahead in this business.
Know what kind of race you’re running…
Whether you work full time or write full time your writing career is a marathon. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to protect your writing time. Whether that’s :30 minutes, :90 minutes, three hours or more, make a daily appointment to write and keep it. Be consistent and in 21-30 days you will have formed the habit of writing daily.
Improve your speed with timed sprints like #1K1HR on Twitter and Facebook.
Better yet, improve your typing skills http://mashable.com/2010/10/07/improve-typing-speed/. I now start every morning with a typing test. Sometimes transitioning into writing can be the hardest part. The typing test is a signal to my brain that it’s time to go to work. And I’m consistently hitting 60 words a minute when I thought I was a 40 wpm typist.
When you really want to write, but don’t. Or you don’t want to write, but need to in order to make word count. One of the best tricks for overcoming hurdles is to use a kitchen timer. Use it like superglue to keep your butt in the chair. Set the timer for any increment and write until the buzzer sounds. Don’t be surprised to find you want to keep writing.
What are some of the obstacles that get in the way of your writing?
Make a list unique to your situation and find a way to work around them.
A writer’s brain needs exercise just like any other muscle…
If you’ve picked up some bad habits along the way, start out slow and steady with small, obtainable goals and then work to pick up speed. You’ll be surprised by what you can accomplish.
After you’ve run your leg of the relay, you’ll want to hand your baby off to the right team—whether that’s a traditional publisher or someone you’ve contracted to help you self-publish, educate yourself. Stay focused and surround yourself with positive people who’ll cheer you on as you cross that finish line.
Rogenna Brewer has one foot in traditional publishing and the other on the indie track. It’s an uneven race at times, but she’s in this biz for the long haul. She designs ebook covers, which can be found at http://www.sweettoheat.blogspot.com
|Available now! One Night in Reno|
Today Seekerville is giving away two copies of 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron (Oct 7, 2012)
Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.