(Photo take from Flickr account with a Creative Commons Licence)
Now I'm going to let you in on a little secret. You don't need to write every day.Gasp, shock, horror etc. What on earth is he talking about? How else am I supposed to finish my 100k MS if I don't at least bash out a few hundred words a day on it? Well, by doing other sorts of writing every day. Here's ways you can keep your writing hand in without feeling guilty about not finding the time to sit in front of you computer and add to the dreaded word count:
- Keep a notebook on you at all times. Yes that's another one you're told to do all the time: but on those days when you're held up by train delays on the commute home from work, or you're nagging your kids to do their homework in between cooking and washing up, half formed snatches of ideas will come to you. These can then be fed in to your WIP when you're in front of your computer later.
- Critique someone else's writing. Each time you do a critique, you sharpen your critical eye for your own work. The problems you identify in the piece you're critiquing could well apply to your own. Either returning to fix them there and then, or thinking about fixing them later, counts as writing for the day. More on critiquing in this blog post.
- Devise a flash story. For those not in the know, this is a very short (1000 or less words) piece of writing. It's good practice: if you're struggling for an idea, use picture prompts, or delve in to your notebook. The ideas generated by your flash story can then either be used in your WIP or give you a whole new idea for a novel...
- Read in your genre. Learn. Steal. N.b. steal, not imitate. It's all part of the creative process and it counts.