25 Tips to Help You KEEP WRITING!

25 Tips to Help You Keep Writing

By Mary Buckham

You’re not alone!

Every writer can create a million reasons to stop writing, whether they’ve just started writing, have been at the process for a while, or are multi-published.

Here are 25 tips and words of advice that might make writing that next page, finishing that next manuscript, or contacting that key person who could help you, a little easier.

* An important question to ask yourself at the beginning of the month, the beginning of the week, the beginning of the day is “ Are the activities you are currently engaged in taking you where you want to go?

* Treat other authors as friends, not competition.

* Start associating fear (that shaking butterfly feeling in your stomach) as being something good. It means you’re moving outside your comfort zone and, while being a scary place, it also means you’re growing as a writer.

* Focus on what you CAN do not what you CAN’T do.

* Assume success with each project, then take the steps necessary to make that happen.

* Find a mentor. You don’t even have to know them to have them help you. I’m always asking, “What would Harlan Coben do?” when faced with something outside my comfort zone.

* Have patience with yourself.

* Celebrate your successes. This is a way of thanking the Universe for achieving them.

* Expect speed bumps. They don’t mean the road doesn’t exist, just that you might need to strategically adjust your course a smidge.

* Print out for yourself the reviews you want for your work. Then write to them.

* Surround yourself with other writers who are succeeding. With writers who will challenge you. Writers who are passionate about achieving something with their work.

* Reject the false comfort of security. It’s a trap that will keep you right where you are now. Sometimes that works. Most times it can stifle you.

* Learn from those around you—the good and the not-so-great ways other writers succeed or sabotage themselves.

* Be clear about WHY you are writing. Don’t confuse your definition of success with everyone else’s definition.

* Taking time off short term can sometimes be a better option long term. Stuck? Tell yourself you CAN’T write for a week. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results.

* Honor your own process, while being willing to try something and see if it helps. If it doesn’t, you learned something new.

* Ask yourself how bad do you want it?

* Treat yourself as you’d treat your best friend or loved one. If they were having doubts or a bad spell would you flog them?

* Every day do something as an author, even if you only spend ten minutes on your career.

* Writing is nothing more than waking up each day, remaining focused on the task at hand, and trusting that the result will take care of itself.

* Don’t assume you don’t know an answer. You always do. You just might not be asking the right questions to access it.

* Network, rather than ask for help from those in the publishing business. Networking is not a race. It takes time to build a solid network.

* Ask yourself “‘What are you doing that is working or not working?”

* Give yourself permission to fail. That’s when you learn something that can help you move forward.

* Have fun!

Here’s a recent quote I heard from an actor, not a story teller, but he gets what it is we all attempt every time we face a blank page:

“The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing, isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination and consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing, and soul-crushing inadequacies. And that’s on a good day.” ~ Robert DeNiro

What about you? Do you have a favorite quote? Words of wisdom? Insights you’d like to share?

USA Today bestselling author Mary Buckham writes the Amazon best selling WRITING ACTIVE SETTING series (in e-format and now in book form) as well as Urban Fantasy w/attitude. Love romance, danger & kick-ass heroines? Find it in her Invisible Recruits series: www.MaryBuckham.com or www.InvisibleRecruits.com.

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16 Responses to 25 Tips to Help You KEEP WRITING!

  1. Mary, thanks so much for being here today and for the great tips.. I think this one is my favorite: “Writing is nothing more than waking up each day, remaining focused on the task at hand, and trusting that the result will take care of itself.” This has definitely been my experience- staying focused on the small daily tasks that can be done easily helps achieve the bigger outcomes.

    Kelly

    • Mary Buckham says:

      Hi Kelly and thank you for having me here today. Love the quote you shared and you’re spot on! Staying focused on what’s right in front of us instead of making assumptions about the future or carrying along baggage from the past. Great advice!

  2. Margaret Moller says:

    Very good advice! I especially like the part about spending a little time each day on something related to writing, even if it’s only ten minutes. Sometimes ten minutes is all I have!

    • Kelly says:

      Ten minutes is better than nothing. :) Thanks for stopping by Margaret!

    • Mary Buckham says:

      Hi Margaret! Isn’t that the truth — creating the time that is so illusive for all of us. When we really want something though we find a way. I started with 5 kids under the age of 8 at home. So I borrowed the neighbors 4 kids for the day and when I sent them home it seemed quiet enough to write then. Plus their owed me babysitting time so every other weekend I planned on marathon writing sessions. And if ten minutes is all you get then use them. Ten minutes a day times 5 times a week starts adding up!
      Best of luck!

  3. Mary, I heard DeNiro say that and I knew it was great and so true that it would be posted by writers.

    Love the list. I ask myself what Richard Castle would do when I write, but then I end up wanting to go on a ride-a-long instead of writing. Guess I’m better off with Nora Roberts, “A blank page can’t be fixed, so write something.” Not sure if that’s the exact quote, but it works.

    • Kelly says:

      Pat, I’ve heard that quote too- that you can’t fix a blank page. It’s very inspiring! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Mary Buckham says:

      LOL! Pat ~ love your description of wanting to do the ride along with Rick Castle ~ too fun! I think the DeNiro quote struck a chord with most writers. Every day we must recommit to the page, to our intentions of what we’re writing and why we’re writing. That’s a HUGE, silent promise we rarely talk about and may not even be aware we do. Thanks for swinging by and sharing!!!

  4. Alaina Grimm says:

    Hi Mary,

    Thanks for the advice. I really like: Expect speed bumps. They don’t mean the road doesn’t exist, just that you might need to strategically adjust your course a smidge.

    It’s those bumps that make me value the successes I’ve had and to value the small improvements. Right now I’m taking part in Kelly’s 90 day writing challenge and even though I’m not posting often it keeps me accountable to myself and reminds me to write.

    • Mary Buckham says:

      Hi Alaina! Gold stars to you for finding a process that works for you. That’s brilliant and keeps you moving forward. Speed bumps are part of any learning process so keeping them in perspective is vital. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing and all the best on your writing journey!

  5. Pingback: 25 Tips to help you keep writing | Lorraine Loveit

  6. Trish says:

    What a great list! This is one of those gifts that will keep on giving-as I know I’ll keep going back to it for encouragement and guidance. Thanks!

    BTW, Mary– love your books, I think I’ve got them all!

    • Mary Buckham says:

      Hi Trish and thank you so much for your kind words! I’m delighted you found the thoughts helpful. Connecting and supporting other writers helps us all to keep going, keep writing and keep believing. All the best with your work!

  7. DJ Lane says:

    Kelly and Mary,

    This list is worthy of bookmarking as one to refer back to often and use like old school SNL’s Stuart Smalley Daily Affirmations. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing it.

    Denise

    • Mary Buckham says:

      Denise ~ Thanks so much for stopping on by and I’m delighted a few of the ideas resonate for you. Made my day! Thank you :-)