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The Craft of Writing
- Real writers make time every day to hone their craft and meet their writing goals and obligations (whether this is an external obligations or self imposed).
- A less talented writer with a strong work habit will almost always be more successful than a writer with more talent but who is not as disciplined.
- Accomplishing your writing goals requires that you work towards a schedule that clearly states when each task needs to be be complete by.
- Spending your time writing is a conscious choice. Those who invest time into it will improve while those who merely think about writing will not.
- Finding the time to write requires a certain level of planning, but using the time you have productively requires dedication.
- Writers don’t sit around and wait for inspiration to strike. They write even if they feel uninspired. They write no matter what the situation or their mood.
- Like any other form of work, the act of writing is often not enjoyable while you do it, although inspiration will occasionally strike. Most of the time, writing requires a certain level of discipline that needs to be built over time.
- Beginning writers should build discipline by committing to writing a half hour or a full hour each day (or set a goal to write a certain amount of words per day).
- Develop a habit of writing at the same time each day until the act of writing becomes routine.
Completing Large Projects
- Most complex projects can be broken down in to a series of simple tasks. You will eventually complete the project if you tackle each task in order.
- The more you write, the better you will be at estimating the amount of time required to complete a task.
- Break large writing projects into major sections (chapters for example). Then further divide them into manageable tasks.
- Meeting mini deadlines can bolster your confidence and make your feel good (provided they are meaningful accomplishments).
- Set goals that are S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).
- Create an ordered list of each required task.
- When planning a project schedule, choose the completion date and then list each task in reverse order to see when they must be completed in order to meet the deadline.
- Don’t break your tasks down to the point where they must be constantly carried over from day-to-day. Just jot down what can be reasonably accomplished in a given day.
- Some people like to use organizational software or websites such as www.toodledo.com to organize their tasks. Pen and paper work just fine as well. It is a matter of using what you are most comfortable with and which provides quicker results.
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