Simple, and yet it seems so counterintuitive. When you sit down to write, set a timer for fifteen minutes. Then let your fingers fly across that keyboard with reckless abandon and dump anything in that miraculous brain of yours onto the page. That crazy dream you had? Your crazy in-law who works your last nerve? Yup, write that too. Get it all out of your system. I promise you will be so much more focused.
That fifteen minute exercise is like stretching for your brain. One day I took a drive and stumbled upon a house that was for sale. It was in the middle of a neighborhood and was on two acres. All the other homes around it were on only a half acre. That was curious to me. When I woke up the next morning, the house was still on my mind.
I wrote about it in my morning dump session. I came up with my own reasons why this one particular house had so much land. That turned into a short story about a former plantation home haunted by the ghost of a slave. I shared it with a very honest friend of mine who said it needed to be a full novel and The House on Horace Street was born.
I had no idea writing about that house would turn into my first novel, now in the process of publication. Another morning, I woke up from a dream that took me back to my childhood. There were a lot of emotions swimming through my head. She had trouble adjusting because she was the only Black girl there. I was too, until I tried it. Now, my morning storm writing is an integral part of my writing routine.
Do you have a free writing habit? Let us know in the comments. Does anything stick out as the seed of a story? Share a portion of your free writing and any story ideas you find in the comments below. Keep up the habit and do this every day for a week.
Before you work on any of your writing projects, do fifteen minutes of morning storming. Building an Author Website. This is the part that I never learned in any English class. Producing work that sells is not just about writing what you think is good. In other words, the writing process matters. It matters a lot.
You have to not only finish your book but write one worthy of being sold. And if you want to maximize your chances of finishing your book, you need a proven plan. Writing books has changed my life. If you need some help staying motivated, here are another 10 tips to help you keep going in the process:. Write and publish a novel, one chapter at a time, using Amazon Kindle Singles, Wattpad, or sharing with your email list subscribers.
The idea of writing a page masterpiece can be paralyzing. Instead, write a short book of poems or stories. Long projects are daunting. Getting feedback early and often helps break up the overwhelm.
Start a website on WordPress or Tumblr and use it to write your book a chapter or scene at a time. Then eventually publish all the posts in a hardcopy book. This is a little different than tradition blogging, but the same concepts apply. We created a free tool to help you know when your blog posts are ready to publish. You need it in order to keep fresh ideas flowing.
I use Evernote , but use a system that works for you. Then, rewrite the entries in a much more polished book format, but use some photocopies or scans of the journal pages as illustrations in the book. It rewards us with temporary relief from stress. Instead, plan for breaks ahead of time so you stay fresh: A coffee shop or library where people are actually working and not just socializing can help.
Instead, write without judgment first, then go back and edit later. Click here to download a complete reference guide of all these writing tips.
What do you want to write a book about? What is your best writing advice? Share in the comments. Bestselling author and creativity expert Jeff Goins dismantles the myth that being creative is a hindrance to success by revealing how an artistic temperament is, in fact, a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
For centuries, the myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their pursuits. In fact, they capitalized on the power of their creative strength.
It happens in three phases: You have to start writing. This sounds obvious, but it may be the most overlooked step in the process. Once you start writing, you will face self-doubt and overwhelm and a hundred other adversaries. Nobody cares about the book that you almost wrote.
We want to read the one you actually finished, which means no matter what, the thing that makes you a writer is your ability not to start a project, but to complete one.
Getting started We all have to start somewhere. With writing a book, the first phase is made up of four parts: Decide what the book is about Good writing is always about something. Set a daily word count goal John Grisham began his writing career as a lawyer and new dad — in other words, he was really busy. Set a time to work on your book every day Consistency makes creativity easier. Here, we are going to focus on the next three tips to help you get the book done: Set a total word count Begin with the end in mind.
Here are some general guiding principles: The Communist Manifesto is an example of this, at about 18, words. The Great Gatsby is an example of this. Most Malcolm Gladwell books fit in this range. The Four-Hour Work Week falls in this range. The Steve Jobs biography would fit this category. Give yourself weekly deadlines You need a weekly goal. Commit to shipping No matter what, finish the book. Embrace failure As you approach the end of this project, know that this will be hard and you will most certainly mess up.
Write another book Most authors are embarrassed by their first book. Before you can launch a bestseller, first you have to write one. Before you can launch a bestseller, you have to write a bestseller. If you need some help staying motivated, here are another 10 tips to help you keep going in the process: Only write one chapter at a time Write and publish a novel, one chapter at a time, using Amazon Kindle Singles, Wattpad, or sharing with your email list subscribers.
Write a shorter book The idea of writing a page masterpiece can be paralyzing. Start a blog to get feedback early Getting feedback early and often helps break up the overwhelm. Keep an inspiration list You need it in order to keep fresh ideas flowing.
Keep a journal Then, rewrite the entries in a much more polished book format, but use some photocopies or scans of the journal pages as illustrations in the book.
It will happen. At some point in your writing journey, you will get stuck. Here's what you need to do when that happens. It's the one trick that will help you.
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