How I Wrote 12,000 Words in Six Days

I have just finished running the Writing Week Retreat with my fellow writer, editor and coach, Isobelle (of Inspired Creative Co.), and it was wonderful. We had some fantastic writers join us from around the world, and overall, the final word count for the week was over 50,000 words between us. That’s an amazing achievement for six days! Let’s talk about how we did it.

1 – Community

For me, there is nothing as powerful as community support when it comes to writing. I thrive when surrounded by writers, whether in real life or virtually, and I have witnessed the impact on others, too. During the retreat, we had two hour-long writing sprints a day. Having that dedicated time meant we could focus on our words with others.

Your Task: Find your community. 

2 – Goals

My goal at the start of every hour-long writing sprint was to write as much as I knew I could – 1000 words in one hour. I know that I can write this because this is my creative data (if you’re not sure what I mean, check this blog post out!), and so I pushed myself to achieve this goal. This meant that my 12000 word achievement was my goal all along, and I am delighted to have made it!

Your task: Discover your creative data and set realistic goals. 

3 – Plans

I’m a dedicated plotter, but during the retreat, I tried something completely different. I had an idea of where I wanted my story to go, and I discussed it with others, but overall I allowed myself to be a discovery writer. This means that the characters took me where they wanted to go, and out of that came a story I absolutely love. While it does differ from my original idea, I am loving the new tale, and the process is exciting and really fun.

Your task: Don’t be too rigid in terms of plans, allow yourself to discover too!

4 – Vision

To help visualise my finished book, I played with title ideas and covers on Canva. The mocked-up image is below! This sort of thing really helps when it comes to picturing the finished novel, which helps motivate me to create and write more.

Your task: Give your work in progress a title and a cover. It doesn’t have to be final.

5 – Craft 

Despite having spent eight years in higher education learning the craft of Creative Writing, there is always more to learn. That’s why one of my values is education! During the retreat, Isobelle and I ran classes on everything from character arcs to raising the stakes, and our focus on that craft element helped tighten up my prose.

Your task: Don’t be afraid to improve your craft and take a class. 

Are you looking for community, creativity, and craft advice? Well, stay tuned. We have more planned and can’t wait to share it with you.

If you still need to grab your copy of the Story Development Workbook (unfortunately, we have had issues with Etsy on their end!), it is now available. Click here to learn more because this workbook is jam-packed with help, and you don’t want to miss it!

Coaching Productivity

3 Ways to Turn On Your Creativity Tap

Your creative tap might be rusting out of use, so let’s look at ways to get it turned back on and that innovative water flowing.

Here is one of my favourite writing quotes:

“The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” —Louis L’Amour.

What does this mean exactly? It means that we should not wait around for inspiration to strike if we want to get some writing done. Go after it with your pen poised. Let’s look into three ways to turn on that creativity tap:

1) Workbooks and Classes.

I cannot express to you the amount of joy that I found through Creative Writing classes over the year, both as a teacher and a student. They have helped me hone my skill set, understand what the craft of writing is about, and most importantly of all, have taught me to prioritise my writing life. Workbooks have a similar effect too, and taking that opportunity to write, create, and learn about something you care about, doesn’t just make you a better writer. It makes you a happier one, and it makes you more comfortable with the title of writer. You are a writer, friend, so it’s time to invest in yourself and your art.

I offer options for this – click here to see The Time to Write Workbook.

This has been developed to help you find time in your working week to write. For the price of a cup of coffee, you can invest in yourself.

I also offer the amazing It’s Time to Write Your Novel masterclass. This 40 class programme is designed to take you from procrastination to print – through the stages of writing your novel. The classes are developed to fit into a busy day so that finding time for yourself is not so difficult.

Once you begin to prioritise your writing life through workbooks, classes, and investing in yourself – you will find that the creative faucet is so much easier to turn on. After all, practice makes progress, and by setting this time aside to work on something you care about, you are making progress.

2) Writing exercises.

Writing exercises are the oil for the rusty faucet! I absolutely love them, and they spark exciting ideas. Here are two of my favourites:

Freewriting. Freewriting is precisely as it sounds – it is the act of putting pen to paper and writing a steady stream of consciousness.

Changing the point of view. Writing from another character’s point of view in your story is a fantastic way to get to know it better. Through this exercise, you can learn more about your characters, your world, and your plotline.

3) Investigation into your process. 

If we do not spend some time considering how we write, why we write, and what makes our writing life better, it will never change. If you are not happy with the writing world you have created and find it hard to get inspired; it’s time to investigate your process. This act alone will help you develop a routine and writing process that actually works for you, meaning that when you sit down to write, you are ready to create with passion.

1:1 coaching is ideal for this step, and through working with a writing coach such as myself, you can understand your process and how you can create a novel you are proud of.

Try the above things if you want to turn that creative faucet on, and let me know how you get on! Looking for more productivity hacks? Click here.