Practice! Practice! Practice!

This is exactly what I look like when I sit down to work on some prose. Yes, this image is perfection. (and a lie.) I tried to find an image that was accurate, but couldn’t… (which I’m totally fine with.)

I began a new work in progress (WIP) this past week, after ditching my last “new” WIP a few days earlier. The one I used to ditch my last work all together, ok, not “ditch” but step back from and take a break in order to gain perspective. Sounds better when you put it like that… But I’m now excited for this new project, mostly because it is NOTHING like the last one(s) at all.

Whenever I begin a new project I like to take a minute to reflect on the mechanics of setting up a writing life – a reminder of what I need to do if I really want results. I found this one more recently than the old “what to do to have a spectacular writing career” lists I’ve looked at, and have to say I’m adopting this list as my own:

1. Write so many pages a day, no matter what—first draft or polished

2. Work through to the end as fast as possible

3. Revise this draft at least five more times

4. Read it aloud to someone else or to yourself

5. Print out all drafts and edit on paper, not on the computer screen

6. Check spelling and grammar carefully but also make sure key points make sense—that you are consistent throughout the book on key plot points, names, methods of murder, timelines

7. Follow standard manuscript format margins and double spacing

8. Save the final manuscript on a disk

9. Prepare a final outline of the entire book—to send along with the sample chapters

As you may have guessed from the “methods of murder” comment, I swiped this from a “How to write a mystery novel” post that can be read HERE, but the basis is the same for whatever genre you write. If you want to be successful at it,  you have to do it and do it often. You need to obsess about it and then you need to obsess about it all over again.

Writing is a passion, but it can be difficult at times. My motto is, and has always been – Never give up! Never surrender! And that means it’s time to stop playing around on here, and get to it! My goal is 1500 words a day. Can I do it? We shall see…

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