04 June 2013

Increase Your Enthusiasm For Writing

There were five of ten shared points I took away from my attendance at the TWA Writers Conference last month. These points have something in common. They keep me enthusiastic about writing; therefore, I'm sharing them with you!

1. Learn something new

Why does this increase your enthusiasm to write? Because, when we learn new things it boosts our confidence and that is something we need as writers in order to allow our creativity to explode onto the screen.

When I was learning Photoshop, I wanted to share my experience, and I did. Likewise, my first digital photos made it into a blog post as well via an embedded sideshow (something else new to me, but I did it and shared it).

2. Make an outline

I never believed this would ever help me, so I never created one, though I kept petering out on every novel I started. I'd get really excited about this story in my head and before I could even pound out a beginning, I'd lost interest. I didn't know where to go when I reached chapter 5. I now have two books with exactly 5 chapters, each sitting in an electronic bookshelf somewhere on my computer. But, now I have an outline, so we'll see if it helps, or if I might just be a lazy procrastinator.

3. Set goals for yourself

Whether it's an hour or 500 words, you must have a daily goal for your writing progress. If not a daily goal, you should at least have a weekly one. I'm one to be the cheerleader for goal setting, right? Here are a few things available to choose from, and I've done them all. The ten minute stream of consciousness is the most fun.

  • Stream of consciousness writing (at least 10 minutes non-stop, even if writing non-sense like, "This is stupid, so so so so stupid I can't think of anything to write, oh and you can't spell check or worry about grammar, just WRITE! Can you tell I'm having fun?")
  • Word count goal (500, 1000, 2500)
  • Chapter per day/week
  • Blog post per week
  • Daily journal entry

4. Understand your audience

Whether you're writing erotica (*cough* gamers of text based RPGs), YA fiction, or horror, you should know your audience. Not everyone is going to love what you write, but if you know your audience, then you know what they love and you can bring it. I'm a Stephen King fan because he's not shy describing gross things like a half naked woman handcuffed to her bed while a stray dog gnaws at her dead husband's scalp as he lays lifeless on the floor because he had a heart attack in the middle of an S&M session with his wife. [deep breath] Moving along.

5. Reach out for support

Nothing will get you more enthusiastic about writing than reaching out to other writers and sharing your struggles. Believe me! I've been struggling for years, but I'd never be as far as I am if I'd not joined the Tallahassee Writers Association or the Florida Writers Association and met some really awesome writers, authors, editors, and publishers. We are all in the business of loving what we do, so why not share?

How do you keep your enthusiasm to write kicking along at maximum speed? Share your ideas.

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