Wednesday, March 9, 2016

On Writing-Picking Up the thread

It's been a fantastic two years since I published Archangel and one year since I published the Greek translation, Arxaggelos. The experience has been a blast and the reception of both books by readers has exceeded my expectations.

Yet, the way to keep readers interested in your work is to keep writing and publishing. I confess that it's been hard getting back into writing and especially picking up where I left off the beginnings of a new novel.

This week I have been dipping my toe back into the waters of that novel that has been sitting in the metaphorical drawer.

Here's some tips for writers who may be facing similar struggles about the steps I've been taking to get back to writing.

I'm most productive earlier in the day, so I promised myself to write for at least an hour before I begin to do other things. The first day,  this was harder than I thought. All of the sudden I felt compelled to bake a cake!! wash all the dishes and pots in the sink and wipe down the counters.

Sit down I did, though, and opened those long ago written chapters. By just going over old writing, reading and correcting, I found myself getting slowly back into the story. The exercise made me less fearful of the writing and familiarized me with my words and ideas.

I set a doable limit to how long I would write. I find that if I promise myself to write for an hour I can usually exceed that timeframe. I walk away feeling that a sense of accomplishment.

Hide your smartphone, close your door and, DO NOT TURN ON YOUR INTERNET BROWSER. This tip has been very important to keeping me on track with writing. I tell myself that I can surf all I want when my writing hour is up. While I'm writing I think of all kinds of things I need to be Googling, like what to make with that leftover squash, where the latest movie we want to see is playing, how the primaries are going... you get the picture. Don't go down that rabbit hole until your writing hour is up!

The last tip for keeping me writing is to write with abandon. Get lost in what you're doing! Before you know it you'll be looking up and not one, but several hours will have gone by while you have been engrossed in your writing. Just like a reader engrossed in a story can't wait to get back to it to find out what's happened, so does the writer want to get back to writing to discover in his or her imagination what happens next.

If you have any writing tips please feel free to share them. I'd love to know some of your tricks!