Categories
Productivity

3 Ways to Get Ready for Your Writing Year (2022)

Is it too soon to talk about next year? Absolutely not. If we wait until 2022 to talk about 2022, we won’t know how to get prepped! For me, 2022 is the year of significant change. Physically, I will be moving back to the UK from New Zealand – so that’s quite a big move in itself. But also, I’m excited to continue writing my companion novel, The Dedworth Shame, and hope to push The Birth of Ida out into the world!

So, what are your plans for 2022? Is it going to be a year of writing? If so, here are three ways to get ready. 

1 – Put 1st January in your calendar (it’ll already be there – but highlight it!)

I have something glorious to offer you in the New Year, and that is The Ultimate Writer’s Planning Workbook. This workbook is sixty pages and will take you through the process of planning your entire writing year. How does that sound? Pretty good to me! It’s going to be available from 1st January to 15th January, and I cannot wait to share it with you.

It’s also going to be added to It’s Time to Write Your Novel, my novel writing masterclass. Together, these two things are going to be the answer to how to write a novel in the new year.

2 – Get a new diary. 

I have purchased two new diaries for the new year – The Year of Growth and The Daily Planner from DreamyMoons. It’s important to me to have something practical and beautiful because the desire to continue planning and prepping my writing schedule is fundamental. We all know that there are days when writing and planning become a challenge, but by having something you cannot wait to use, you are more likely to embrace the action.

3 – Consider your big goals. 

What do you want to achieve in 2022? Take some time to think about this and figure it out, and once you know, write it down. A dream written down is a goal, after all. Try to be realistic with your goals so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Personally, so that I limit overwhelm, I like to write down plans for the next five years. That way, I know that if one year is packed to the brim, and I won’t quite be able to achieve everything I have set out to, I can prioritise one goal for the following year. That’s absolutely fine, and life is not a race.

Are you ready to set your goals for the new year? If you need a hand with this or feel overwhelmed at the prospect, get in touch today. I would love to help. 

Want to read something similar? Check out the following:

3 Things I Did to Level Up My Writing Game
How to Set Effective Writing Goals

Categories
Productivity

How To Set Effective Writing Goals

Do you ever feel that you set goals but struggle to move them beyond the act of writing them down? If so, this is the blog post for you.

Setting effective writing goals is the key to moving forward in our writing lives and achieving those literary dreams. So, let’s break it down together.

Specifically define success. 

What is the goal? If you want to write a novel, ask yourself what the endpoint is. If it’s to publish the work and promote it, the goal doesn’t just end at writing the novel. Being specific about what success will mean for you is key.

Understand the actions involved. 

Yes, we can write down ‘Write a novel’, or ‘Publish’, but that doesn’t really tell us what is involved in the act, and so can mean that success will be harder to reach. To set an effective writing goal, break down the actions that are involved in the task.

  • How will you achieve your set goals?
  • What is involved in writing a novel?
  • What will you need to learn to publish?
  • Will you hire an editor?

There are lots of questions to consider. If you need a hand with this bit, don’t be afraid to get in touch and ask for help!

Set a Timeline. 

Once you know what is involved in your writing goal, you can set a realistic timeline for the process. Be generous and realistic. If you need help with planning your writing week, check this post out here!

Remind yourself. 

It’s time to set up that writing habit. Look at your calendar and slot in those actions, setting reminders to help you remember to do the work. If you struggle with finding the time, The Time to Write Workbook can take you through the process. It’s an investment in yourself for the price of a cup of coffee!

Get to work.

Once those effective writing goals are set, the only thing left to do is take action. Getting to work on your goals can be made much easier by setting rewards for each task and keeping that final stage in mind.

If you’re looking for some further help, why not take a look at my Novel Writing Masterclass – It’s Time to Write Your Novel. This course takes you from idea to publication and will make setting those goals so much easier.

What writing goals do you have? Let me know – I would love to help you achieve them!

Found this blog post useful? Share it with another writer.

Want to read something similar? Check these out:

The Time Blocking Tools That Can Help You Write Your Novel
Tips and Tricks for Dealing With Procrastination 
Ten Tips For Planning Your Writing Week

Categories
Productivity

How to Get Back Into Writing After a Break

Sometimes we need a holiday, and our writing breaks are planned, and at other times they creep up on us, and we realise that it’s been weeks, or maybe even months, since we last wrote. When that happens, how can we get back into writing after taking a break? Here are five ways. Oh, actually, I’m feeling kind. Have ten!

1) Be kind to yourself. 

It’s okay to take a break from your novel. Seriously – it is. You might have heard about writers who write 1000 words a day with ease and three novels a year, but all that does not matter. Being a prolific writer is how you define it. I try and write 4,000 words a week, but in the last few months, I have had a lot of editing to do as well, so I have split my time between two projects. This means that I’ve been writing more like 2,000 words a week. That’s okay. Whatever your situation, the fact that you are reading this means that you are ready to get back into writing, and that’s great. Be kind to yourself; a writer doesn’t have to write all the time to be a writer.

2) Mindmap. 

Get all of those ideas down on paper – whether they are reasonable, excellent, or you’re not so sure. Just the act of allowing yourself to think through ideas for your work in progress will create new inspiration, ideas, and inspire you to take action.

3) Writing exercises.

One of my favourites. I love to partake in writing exercises to get myself in the writing mood! I teach one of my favourite ways of coming up with novel ideas in my Novel Writing Masterclass, so if you’re a fan of exercises too and want a hand going from idea to publication, go ahead and take a peek!

4) Real-life research. 

From cooking the meals your characters enjoy to saddling up and experiencing their way of travel, there are many ways to enjoy real-life research. You could even sit down to create a map (I love Inkarnate for this). Doing things that relate to your novel but are not writing can help get those creative juices flowing.

5) Re-organise that routine. 

Writing routines change, and that’s okay! It might feel a bit dusty and stilted if you are coming back to an old routine after a break away from writing. Spend some time refreshing that writing routine and working out how you want it to be moving forward. If you want a hand with this, take this fun quiz on my website!

6) Chat to other writers. 

Get involved in the writing community. Whether you join a local writing group, a private Facebook group, or the fabulous writing community on Instagram, there are many wonderful places to find other writers. Within them, you will get accountability, warm conversation, and like-mindedness that’s hard to beat. Plus, there will be others who would like to get back into writing too, so you can share your thoughts with them.

7) Read, read, read.

Remind yourself of your writing passion by picking up those books again and digging in! The more you read, the easier it will be to write. Why? Because through reading we get more entertainment. We get an education on what it is to write, on tropes, grammar, and so much more. Most important of all, we get inspiration.

8) Write your favourite book. 

Well, no, not the exact same book. But, there’s a lot to be said for writing fan fiction if you want to get back into writing. If your creative faucet feels stuck, then slip into a world that you already know, with characters you already love.

9) Re-ignite your passion with a course. 

Writing courses are fantastic for getting us back into the writing spirit. If you are looking for a course to try, give It’s Time to Write Your Novel a go! It’s a 40 class course for only $99 and will take you from procrastination to print.

10) Create an experience. 

We don’t just have to be typing to write. You can create an experience based on your book too. From creating a collage on Pinterest to building a beautiful playlist that transports you straight into your world, there are many ways to develop an experience that will deliver you directly to your novel.

Do you have any to add? If so, I would love to hear them!

Found this useful? Please share it with another writer.

Looking for something similar to read? Check the following out.

3 Things I Did to Level Up My Writing Game
T
he Reset Week: Investigate Your Writing Process
T
he Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Writing Routine

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Productivity

How To Get Prepared For NaNoWriMo (Preptober)

November is National Novel Writing Month, a time when people across the world come together (albeit virtually) to stare into their computers and write 50,000 words in one month. So, when October rolls around, it’s time to get prepared. Preptober is a term that the writing community has given to this preparation period! So, how do you take full advantage of Preptober and get ready for NaNoWriMo? Let’s dig in.

Investigate Your Time 

Why do people manage to write more when partaking in NaNoWriMo than on a regular month? The answer is this: They prioritise their writing. Now, it’s much easier to prioritise writing your novel when there is an end in sight (that end being December in this case). However, there is a way to keep that word count growing after November, and it helps for finding the time to write those 50,000 words too. That is the magic of Investigating Your Time. To do this, I would recommend downloading your copy of The Time to Write Workbook. With this workbook, you can learn how to break your week down, create a writing routine that works for you, understand writing areas that you would like to brush up on before November, and set goals. All of this for the price of a cup of coffee? That’s a win-win. 

Create Your NaNoWriMo Survival Kit

Ah yes, the NaNoWriMo survival kit! They will all be a little different, but if you are looking for something to keep you going during those long writing hours, here is what I recommend:

1) A fresh notebook. Ah, the smell of the fresh notebook, there’s nothing like those clean pages just waiting to be filled!

2) Journal. Separate from the notebook, I like to keep a journal to work through any difficulties I am having with the process or personal things that might be keeping me from writing.

3) Caffeine. Because, well…obviously.

4) Candles. It’s all about that mood-setting! 

Confirm Your Goals

The common goal for many NaNoWriMo writers is to hit 50,000 words in one month, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be your goal, or even, your only goal. Set your goals ahead of time, break them down and understand how you will achieve them within those four weeks. The Time to Write Workbook can really help with this, too.

Sign Up on the NaNoWriMo website

When you sign up on the official website, there is a lot to get involved with. From forums to stickers, it is well worth joining in on there and finding your local NaNoWriMo group too. Sharing the experience can make it fun.

Whether Plotting or Pantsing, Get Your Idea Ready

Time is precious, especially when you are trying to write 50,000 words in one month. Save yourself some time in advance by thinking about the writing that you are going to do. If you are not a plotter, you don’t have to turn into one suddenly, but it can help to get a rough outline of your idea down on paper.

Create Your Cover

One of my favourite things to do is to create a mock-up of a book cover on Canva. There’s even space on the NaNoWriMo website for you to share, so have a little fun and visualise that complete and final product.

Find Your Incentives 

It’s time to find out what works for you in terms of incentives and rewards. The more you celebrate those words being written, the more likely you are to sit down next time – rewards are a big part of creating a writing habit, and a habit is precisely what is needed for NaNoWriMo! For me, I’ll be rewarding myself with Dairy Milk, cups of tea, and chapters of a good book.

Download Your Free Trackers!

Yep – if you are looking for a freebie to help you with NaNoWriMo, there’s one right here that I have created for you. Download your tracker/checklist today so that you can print it off and cross out those written words! I have made two, as I know some people like to move forward based on word count and others based on days of writing.

Click here to download a tracker based on writing days.

Click here to download a tracker based on word count.

You’ve got this writer. 

I cannot wait to hear all about your NaNoWriMo project! Get in touch today to tell me what you are writing about. And, if you know of another writer who is also taking part, send this to them so that they can take full advantage of Preptober too.

Looking for a similar read? Check out the following:

3 Things I Did To Level Up My Writing Game
The Time Blocking Tools That Can Help You Write Your Novel
T
ips and Tricks for Dealing With Procrastination 

Categories
Productivity

How To Celebrate International Hobbit Day At Home

If you know me, then you saw this post coming a mile away. The 22nd of September (today in New Zealand!) is officially International Hobbit Day (and also Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday). So, it’s time to celebrate. Due to restrictions, I’ll be celebrating at home this year, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t be enjoying myself. Join me, if you can, in a homely hobbit party!

Here’s how you can celebrate too:

1) Dress the part.

Whatever that means to you, find something that makes you feel special and like you’ve just stepped out of Middle Earth. For me, that includes a cloak. You can’t beat a cloak, can you? I’ll be rushing around corners to try and get that billowing effect behind me all day long.

2) Drink out of a tankard. 

Yep, whether that tankard is holding a beer, tea, or water – it’s the tankard life all day. You can also put on some tavern music on Spotify, to make you feel like you’re enjoying a lovely evening at The Green Dragon with your fellow hobbits.

3) Use Middle Earth languages.

Hobbits speak English, but that doesn’t mean you have to! Here are some elvish phrases to help you get in the mood (thanks to RealElivish.net for these):

English: A star shines on the hour of our meeting.
Sindarin: Êl síla erin lû e-govaded ‘wîn.
Pronunciation: EEEL SII.la E.rin LUUU e GO.va.ded WIIIN

English: Welcome!
Sindarin: Aldol!
Pronunciation: AL.dol

English: Well met!
Sindarin: Mae govannen!
Pronunciation: MAE go.VAN.nen

English: At last!
Sindarin: Na vedui!
Pronunciation: na VE.dui

English: Come near the fire
Sindarin: Tolo anin naur
Pronunciation: TO.lo A.nin NAUR

English: Come with me
Sindarin: Aphado nin
Pronunciation: A.fa.do NIN

English: Come, join us
Sindarin: Tolo, govado ven
Pronunciation: TO.lo GO.va.do VEN

4) Eat good food.

Hobbits LOVE their food. If you want to join in, there are seven meals to enjoy daily. These are:

Breakfast – 7am
Second Breakfast – 9am
Elevenses – 11am
Luncheon – 1pm
Afternoon Tea – 3pm
Dinner – 6pm

Supper – 9pm 

What should you enjoy for these meals? Hobbits love carbs, jams, meats, and all that good stuff. I myself will be enjoying some large chunks of bread smothered in jam, some excellent cheese, perhaps a pie…oh gosh, I think I need to take a break to get a snack.

Enjoy the day, and don’t forget to share your outfits, meals, and general hobbit fun with me! I would love to see how you celebrate. Share what you’re up to on Instagram with me today! 

Categories
Productivity

Why My Writing Routine Won’t Work For You

Writing routines and rituals are an important part of the writing process. They are the answer to ‘I don’t have the time to write’ – figuring out a writing routine carefully can help us find available hours in our busy week. 

But here’s the critical thing about creating a writing routine…it has to fit in with your life.

I have helped many writers go through the process of creating a writing routine. It can sometimes be lengthy, as the process requires a level of investigation into time, creative data, and a little more. So, it can be tempting to look at other writers and see what they are up to, because there lies the promise of it all being figured out for you.

Following Other Routines 

So, let’s say we listen to Stephen King and pay close attention to his writing routine. He writes every day. Awesome!

At first, it goes well. Writing every day can be a bit addictive even, but then, there comes a day when something gets in the way. It could be anything from taking the car to be serviced to forgetting to sit down and begin, but ultimately it means that a day is missed. The overall feeling that comes from this is that it didn’t work, and it may even stop us from having a go at another writing routine.

If we haven’t spent time considering whether writing every day fits with our lives, it can be a rigid and strict rule that must be broken at some stage. Life happens, and if we restrict ourselves to fixed structures not developed for us, it is far more likely that these structures will be broken.

This is exactly why I do not recommend my own routine to anyone else. Finding a routine that works for you is all about just that! It is wonderful to take inspiration from others, but a routine is more likely to work when it takes your personal schedule into consideration.

A writing routine has to fit with your life and your responsibilities, and nobody else’s. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be challenging to work this out because I can share the process of development with you.

Finding Your Own Path

So, are you ready to find your writing routine and fit more writing into your life? If so, I am excited to tell you that I am making it easier than ever for you to do this.

There are three ways I can help you:

1:1 Coaching 

It’s Time to Write Your Novel – The Masterclass

And now…(launching 17th September!)

The Time to Write Workbook

For the price of a cup of coffee, I have created a workbook that will help you:

  1. Find time to write
  2. Create a writing routine that fits with YOUR schedule
  3. Identify writing areas you would like more information on
  4. Set and achieve writing goals

If you are ready for a taste of coaching and want to see a way forward in your creative life, this is the workbook for you.

Here’s what Emma had to say:

‘Love the layout, very visual. It’s really useful, and I love how everything is broken down, so you’re not so overwhelmed with the task at hand.’

Here’s what Hannah had to say:

‘This workbook is a great place to start. Knowing what my Creative Data is and using that to structure my time has been eye-opening. There’s real value in providing a structure that makes the seemingly huge (and very intimidating) task of sitting down to write achievable.”

As a writing coach trained by an ICF accredited company with a PhD, MA and BA in Creative Writing, you can trust that this book has been created carefully, using tried and true coaching practices informed by writing knowledge.

So, stay tuned. I will send you an email when it’s launched, and I cannot wait to share this with you! 

Are you looking for a similar read?

Check out:
Reasons Not To Write Every Day
The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Writing Routine
3 Ways to Hold Yourself Accountable (Writing Edition)

Categories
Productivity

The Time Blocking Tools That Can Help You Write Your Novel

You may know by now that I am a time blocking fan. Put simply, time blocking enabled me to complete a PhD while working two jobs, and finish two novels in one year with time for querying. So yes, time blocking works for me. I use time blocking tools to help me with this, and here are some of the ones I recommend for you!

But hang on, what is time blocking?

Essentially, it is understanding how much time you have to do tasks in your day, and blocking out your time, dedicating each block to a task. Did you know that just one hour of planning can save you ten hours of doing? Seriously – the amount of time planning can save us makes it a no brainer for writing a novel.
Looking for an introduction to time blocking? That’s what I share in my free class right here: Novel Writing Masterclass.

There are so many time blocking tools that can help us, so I thought I would give you my top four! I’ll include the links so you can explore more if you like the sound of them.

Asana

One of the most popular time blocking tools and the one you have probably already heard of – Asana helps you keep track of all of your To-Dos in your various projects. It has reminders, you can link it to your phone, and if you love ticking off tasks as I do, it works well.

Perfect for: Collaborations and writing with others. You can add ‘team members’ to Asana, which is ideal if you’re sharing a writing project.

ClickUp

ClickUp has a reputation for being super easy to use, and it is free for the full version. You can manage multiple projects at once, and it even has an inbox.

Perfect for: Single users who want to manage their daily routine as well as their writing routine.

Google Calendar

It’s the one you may already use, and I love it. It enables time blocking through easy colour coding and reminders, and it speaks beautifully to your other calendars. It also adds in tasks for you when you accept invitations, and that is a dream.

Perfect for: The writer who wants to give time blocking a go before they commit fully to it!

The Classic – The Paper Planner

I won’t lie to you – I’m a paper fan. I like paper books, like writing things down longhand, and my weekly planning is no different. There is also something so beautiful about tearing off a week when it’s over and the physical act of scribbling a task out. There are some excellent paper planners out there, but I favour the type with tear-off sheets!

Perfect for: Old school writers, fans of nostalgia.

Okay, so now you know what tools are out there – ready and waiting for you to try, what about trying Time Blocking? If you are ready for an introduction to the practice (as well as other helpful information), check out this free class I’m giving away as part of my Novel Writing Masterclass: It’s Time to Write Your Novel.

Want to chat more about how it works? You can now book a Discovery Call with ease on my website. It’ll alter to your time zone, and you can book yourself in!

Found this helpful? Please share it with another writer.

If you are looking for a similar read, check out the following blog posts:

Online Writing Tools That Can Help You Write Your Novel
Task Batching: How It Can Give You More Time to Write

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Productivity

Reasons Not To Write Every Day

Do you worry about writing every day? Should you write every day? Stephen King thinks so, and it works for many other people…but I’m afraid that I’m not one of them.

Here’s the issue – I’ve tried it. I have sat down every single day to hammer out some words. Did it go well? Sure, for a while. But, after a month or so, I found that I couldn’t keep up, and eventually, I was left feeling discouraged, guilty, and actually spending time worrying about it. So, overall, it did not work for me. It does work for some people – I have a friend who writes 1000 words a day. That’s so great, and I celebrate their routine! But for me, it just isn’t suitable. If it doesn’t work for you either, that’s okay. You don’t have to write every day to be a terrific writer. Here’s why:

A Writing Routine Should Fit Your Specific Life

I don’t have a life routine that fits with writing every day. Heck, I’m a small business owner, I have family and friends that need my attention, and I like to do various other things that take up time. That’s okay! Writing is a huge priority of mine, and that’s why I created a writing routine that actually does work for me and fits in with my life. It’s flexible, allows for movement, and means that I write around 4,000 words a week. If you want to create a writing routine that works for you, check out this blog post on doing just that! A writing routine that includes writing every day is absolutely fine if it works for you, but the key is making sure it fits in with your life. We all write best when we have the time. Forcing ourselves to write every day when it doesn’t fit will create feelings that I’ve already outlined – ultimately, it can make us feel dejected. I don’t know about you, but writing while dejected does not make me feel awesome, and it doesn’t equal my best work either.

Breaks are Important Too

A work-life balance is vital, and I think breaks in the week are essential. Breaks can also mean we allow ourselves to get excited about our writing projects, look forward to that moment of creation, and refill the well of creativity.

Writing Is About More Than The Act of Writing

Writing is about so much more than sitting down to write. Writing is about research; it’s about thinking, dreaming, planning. It can involve reading, watching movies, taking action. If you spend time in your week working on your novel, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are spending the time writing. Here’s a little picture of me enjoying my character’s favourite meal, a chuckwagon inspired stew with cornbread.

Writing every day

Giving yourself the time in your week to work on your project without writing isn’t just fun; it can deepen your world and create a richer experience for yourself and the reader.

Flexibility Aids Motivation

Writing every day is a rigid and strict rule that must be broken at some stage. Life happens, and if we restrict ourselves to fixed structures, it is far more likely that these structures will be broken. Instead, a writing routine that allows flexibility can motivate us to work and ultimately means that the idea of ‘breaking the routine’ is not such a demoralising one.

So there you have it – you do not need to write every day to be a fantastic writer. Creating a routine that works for you will make you feel more motivated, better rested, and can generate more words!

If you are ready to chat about creating a writing routine that works with your personal life, get in touch.

If this blog post was helpful to you, share it with another!

Fancy reading something similar?

The Power of Taking Responsibility for Your Writing Journey
How to Harness Your Writing Motivation
Ten Tips for Planning Your Writing Week
The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Writing Routine

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Productivity

7 Ways to Get Rid of Writer’s Block

Ah, writer’s block! It can come along at any time and sometimes without warning.

Whether or not you believe in it, writer’s block can appear in many guises and hold us back when creating. So what can you do when this happens?

I scoured the authors’ quotes so that you don’t have to, to break down ways we can get through the pesky writer’s block.

1. Write badly

I haven’t had writer’s block. I think it’s because my process involves writing very badly.” — Jennifer Egan

It’s true that we don’t often talk about editing block, and that writer’s block happens most when we are faced with that first draft of a novel.

Permit yourself to write badly, to get the bones of your idea down on paper and worry about it later. The more you allow yourself to get writing, the easier writing will be.

2. Set a Timer or a deadline

I don’t believe in writer’s block. Think about it — when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due? Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands.” — Jodi Picoult

Giving yourself a deadline, or even setting a timer for ten minutes and free writing, can really loosen up that creative faucet. If you have a deadline to stick to, you will be more likely to get words down to reach it.

3. Change the project

I try and deal with getting stuck by having more than one thing to work on at a time. And by knowing that even a hundred bad words that didn’t exist before is forward progress.” — Neil Gaiman

If you really can’t see a way forward for your current project, that doesn’t mean that the writing game is up! Write anything else, start something new, and get that creativity flowing again. Then, you’ll have something to come back to next time you feel stuck.

4. Remove the pressure

I deal with writer’s block by lowering my expectations. I think the trouble starts when you sit down to write and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent — and when you don’t, panic sets in. The solution is never to sit down and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent. I write a little bit, almost every day, and if it results in two or three or (on a good day) four good paragraphs, I consider myself a lucky man. Never try to be the hare. All hail the tortoise.” — Malcolm Gladwell

Writing a novel is like climbing a mountain. It requires one foot in front of the other, and one word after another. No one writes perfection in their first sitting, so try and remove the pressure and take it one word at a time.

5. Practice makes a writer

Writer’s block is a misnomer and can be compared with turning off a faucet. Like the ability to write, faucets can develop problems when they’re seldom used. You get all this rust in the pipes. When you turn on the faucet, a lot of rust comes out.” — Susan Neville

Don’t let your faucet go rusty! Practice writing every week. You don’t need to write daily to be a regular writer, but try and find at least an hour a week to practice the craft and keep your creativity flowing.

6. Don’t give in

Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.” — Charles Bukowski

Write about anything. Write about what you had for lunch at school. Write about the weather. Write about having writer’s block. Just write, because the more you do, the easier it will be.

7. Research

You’re not missing the words; you’re missing the research. All ideas are a combination of preexisting ideas. So if you’re “out” of new ideas it’s probably because you don’t have enough old ideas to combine. Go back and read more. Or spend more time mapping out the book. Don’t show up to the keyboard without a plan and then tell the world you have writer’s block. You’re lying to us, and to yourself.” — David Burkus

Research can inspire ideas, new paths, add depth to current work, and so much more. If you are struggling to write today, then take a moment to research instead, and immerse yourself in the world you are creating.

There you have it, seven ways to overcome writer’s block! Which one most appeals to you?

Send me a message and let me know.

If you’re struggling with writer’s block and want to chat one-on-one about it, I’m available for coaching. You would be amazed at what a little investigation in your process and mindset can do!

Liked this post?
Please share it with a fellow writer!

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Splitting Time – Separating Writing and Research Time

Welcome writer!

Do you ever sit down to write and find that instead you’ve spent an hour researching?

Well, here’s a little writer’s hack from the mines of my writing brain to limit that issue – I call it Splitting Time.

If you’ve checked out my blog post Ten Tips for Planning Your Writing Week, you’ll know that I am a planner.

I know, from experience and my Creative Writing studies, that planning is the best way to get that novel written.

I mention this because that’s the backbone of Splitting Time – preparation is KEY!

Here’s the practice: research and writing time are different.

Writing a novel requires ongoing research, but there’s a difference between checking a word is correct, making sure a phrase was used in the era you’re setting your novel in, and getting into a research rabbit hole that started with the type of wood used in a manor house in the nineteenth century, and suddenly has you watching an hour-long documentary on refurbishing listed buildings.

The point I’m making is – at some point, this sort of research becomes procrastination and goes from being helpful, to stopping you from getting useful writing done.

Splitting Time requires you to separate research and writing time.

For example, if you’re faced with the situation just mentioned and actually, you decide that it would be super helpful to watch the said documentary, that’s fine. But the time you spend watching that documentary will then mean that you owe that hour back to creative writing – that week. It’s up to you to hold yourself accountable.

This trick requires you to plan your week of writing ahead (so if you haven’t read the planning blog post – I would recommend it!), so that you know you’re spending three hours on Monday writing, for example.

Once you learn to view creative writing time as separate from research time, you’ll find that you’re getting more writing done.

Why?

Here’s how your week might look before time splitting.

In this example, we are imagining that you would like to spend four hours working on your novel during the week, and you have decided to do this between Monday and Thursday so you can have the weekend off:

  • Monday – Three hours of writing (made up of two hours of creative writing, one hour of research)
  • Tuesday – None
  • Wednesday – None
  • Thursday – One hour of writing (half an hour of writing, half an hour of research)

As you can see, four hours actually turned into two and a half hours of writing, and one and a half hours of research.

Here’s how your week would look after time splitting:

  • Monday – Two hours of writing, One hour of research.
  • Tuesday – Half an hour of writing, half an hour of research.
  • Wednesday – One and a half hours of writing.
  • Thursday – Half an hour of research.

You will notice that in this week, unlike the week before, any time taken from writing by research was then made up in the week.

This is why it’s helpful to have the week planned ahead of time, so you know how much time is owed to your writing practice.

In the second week it is acknowledged that the practice of writing deserves four hours this week, and so any research time is separated entirely by recording the time actual writing is taking place.

Remember that research is good fun!

That’s exactly why setting time for research specifically will not only limit the chance of falling down a rabbit hole and procrastinating under the guise of useful research but will give automatically assign more time to your writing.

Does it mean that you’re working on your novel more hours a week? Yes, it does, but by specifying ahead of time what your action is, more value will be gained.

Give it a go and let me know what you think!

Need some help Splitting Time? Get in touch or book a Discovery call