Time management tips to for busy writers

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I’ve been overwhelmed lately trying to balance writing, studying for the JLPT in December, working full time, and having a social life… etc. Since cloning is not an option outside Sci Fi novels, I’ve to work out a schedule that accommodates all the things I need/ want to do, and occasionally make sacrifices.

Anyhow, I’ve found some useful tips online and thought of sharing them with you. Enjoy!

1)      Michelle V. Rafter suggests in her post that you,

 a.     Turn off distractions (don’t watch TV while writing or BBm friends. And under no consequence can you peek at Facebook! Facebook will suck your soul- I might be exaggerating).

b.      Use a timer (My personal tip: don’t peek at the timer, so you don’t get yourself out of the zone).

3)      Another blog suggests that you should write before your day begins. This way you won’t be exhausted by the time you get to writing and start dabbling nonsense like me.

4)      My personal tips

a.       Don’t work in 20 projects at the same time. You won’t get anywhere with any of them.

b.      If you have an idea for the next scene but you don’t have time, note it down so you could start with it the next day. This way, you won’t have to waste 15 minutes the next day coming up with an idea.

c.      Prevent burn out: Writing 5000 words a day feels like a great accomplishment. You start calculating in your mind how fast you could finish your novel if your write 5000 words every day. Ain’t gonna happen! Unless you have nothing to do but write (and you wouldn’t be reading this post if you were), you will not be able to sustain it for a long time.

d.     Take advantage of every moment (Aka. write in the bathroom, at the bus stop, in line… etc.)

Courage to experiment and step out of your comfort zone

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When I wrote my first fan-fiction, my first ever piece of fiction writing in English, shamed bubbled inside of me. Before pressing the post button, I had decided that it was worth more as a hand-fan. The first good review- ah- I danced like the Oogachaka baby. It gave me enough boost to write a second chapter.

A few months later, I was organizing my stories, and came upon that first one. It was traumatizing. I had a horrible plot, awful grammar, spelling mistakes I didn’t know were possible. My eye itched for the rest of the day. Then I realized, I improved. What if I never wrote that first chapter? What if didn’t have the guts to post it back then? I would have been a different person if I let my insecurities rule me.

Here is a great voice:  I will the beast of “I’m not good enough” in the eye and poke my tongue at it! I’ll be good enough, oneday. And the next day, I’ll be even better!

So, I recently I wrote a weird short story (I might post it later), about a girl who think she’s in a dream. I wrote first person and in present tense. Above all, I made it confusing and dream-like on purpose, just to experiment. . Some people laughed it off (a friend of mine told me she was uncomfortable listening to it). Some people loved it, or at least loved some aspects of it. I might not write in that same style again, but I learned a thing or two.

Whip your insecurities; you are you’re worst critic. Experiment. Write something even if you think people might hate it. It might turn out great. And if it doesn’t, let it teach you how to become a better writer and how to to write something people will truly love.

Think of it as wearing a color you’ve never worn before. Orange or Purple, something you never had the courage before to wear. It might be your color!

Who’s joining NaNoWriMo this year?

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NaNoWriMo is a National novel writing month.  Basically, the goal is to get you and people interested in writing to actually write. Here is how it works:

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.”

I was a little disappointed to discover that there are no events in Egypt (what did I expect, really?!). Anyway, I’ll still be registering and joining online.

Anyway else here joining?

 

Three awesome resources for writing your first novel and a quick update.

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About one month ago, I posted saying that I decided to bet on myself and start writing my first novel. So far, the first draft sucks and reads a lot like cave-man language, but we all once traced letters in a swigged font before learning to write our names, huh. I’ve got to start somewhere!

Anyway, today I reached 36,500 words mark. Almost half of the first draft is done- Bazinga! I’ve to say, the eid vacation (a week) helped get some millage out of me.

Now enough about me. Here are three awesome resources for the budding writer who is slaving away at his/her first novel.

1- Scrivener

Download this program right now! I saw many people swearing by it online, and I didn’t believe them until I actually tried it. It is the best writing software out there. It is easy to get lost when writing the first novel, but it made it easy to combine everything in one place, which you can later export in all sorts of formats (including epub!).

I’ll dedicate a whole post to it soon.

You can download a trial here: https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

2- Fiction writing for dummies

 

I’ll admit: I didn’t expect much out of this book, after taking a look at the Japanese for dummies one. Yet, as it turns out, it is actually very well organized and includes guides you from plotting to finding a publisher.

What it doesn’t tell you about though is proof reading and such. It is not a grammar book.

I also recommend you take a look at blog of Randy Ingermanson, one of the authors. He explains a method he calls “snowflake” for designing a novel. http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/

3- Terrible minds blog by Chuck Wendig

This blog is my motivation bible! It was got my started. One of the posts, ‘25 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WRITING A NOVEL’, is the reason I’m so determined to finish my first novel. The first commandment was “FINISH THE SHIT THAT YOU STARTED”.  That’s what I call tough love!

It has great tips and information, so check it out:

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/