Don’t Compare Yourself to Yourself

I tend to meet a lot of perfectionists in the writing craft. I’m one of them! And it’s an absolute beast to face up to one of the hardest truths about our calling. So I’m just going to say it:

Writers, I have good news and bad news for you. What you are writing will never be perfect. You will never achieve perfection.

This is the best and worst thing about writing. No one is perfect, ourselves included. But here’s the beautiful contrast…if we aren’t perfect, and if we will never achieve that esoteric triumph of “perfection,” then we’re good enough as we are.

The difficult thing is getting to a place where we accept this.

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Four Tips to Help You Dive Back Into Your WIP

In an earlier post, I talked a little bit about the importance of routine in order to support a steady output of words for your WIP. But even when you get the routine down, it can be tough to get into the writing mindset when you sit at your computer. Some of us end up scrolling Pinterest or Twitter for a while, trying to get into that drafting mood. But there’s not always time for that – sometimes you need to start producing content, STAT!

This week, we’re going to look at a few steps that can help you get into the mindset of your current WIP quickly and easily each day.

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No One Writes Like YOU

Humans are habitual comparers.

I wish I knew exactly what it is that constantly compels us to compare our lives to those around us. Whether it’s fitness goals, money goals, house goals, travel goals…we’ve structured ourselves mentally and physically, in many ways, to measure our success against what others have, have done, or are currently doing.

Unfortunately, writers are no exception.

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The #1 Romance Question for your WIP

For as long as I’ve been writing non-animal-centric stories, I have been trying – somewhat unsuccessfully at times, I might add – to include a romantic subplot in most of them. As a reader, I’ve always had the softest spot for knee-wobbling, toe-curling kisses, romantic partners who would fight and even die for each other, support and respect that defies logic, and of course, the tension of running into danger to save one another.

What always frustrated me in my own drafts, however, was that I’d come up with great ideas for potential scenes and romantic arcs, only to be thwarted by a seemingly impossible villain: a lack of chemistry. My leads needed to be together, but didn’t want to be together.

I finally found a solution to this problem, in the form of a question that someone asked me about one of my WIPs…and I realized that this is quite possibly the most fundamental question you can ask yourself and your characters when it comes to a romantic pairing:

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Embrace the Journey

“Are you a pantser or a planner?”

This is the question I get asked the most by fellow writers. I used to identify myself 100% as a pantser – mostly because my modus operandi was to chase every plot my Muse flushed up, without taking a second to consider things any deeper than the surface of the idea. But as time has gone on, I’ve realized I’m actually neither a panster, nor a plotter.

I am a journeyer.

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Four Steps to Help You Finish That Novel

One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from my writing friends—and myself!—is that we just don’t always have time to write. I think a more honest way to say this, however, is that we don’t necessarily make time to write.

One of my mom’s favorite sayings is, “We all have the same twenty-four hours in a day. We have to choose how we spend them.” Which dovetails beautifully with another of her kernels of wisdom: “You’ll make time for what’s important.” When it comes to writing, I’ve always found this to be especially true. If we’re devoted to our craft, we will make it a priority. And then we will make time for it, no matter what.

If you’re at all like me, your writing suffers greatly if you’re not careful with managing your time. Let’s take a look at a few steps that may help you to get your writing-time back on track!

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Who’s Going to Stop You?

Real talk, guys: writing is hard. Finishing a WIP is hard. Editing is hard. And even if drafting is a breeze for some of us, chiseling the masterpiece into perfect detail can be a Herculian challenge that leaves even the most stalwart writer weeping into his or her coffee/tea/beverage of choice.

Sometimes, I want to give up. And I guess in the past I always have, because I have an entire flashdrive full of WIPs anywhere from, I’d say, 40%-90% complete and ready to be sent to agents. But something always stops me from reaching that 100% I so desperately desire.

I’ve finally realized that that pesky “something” is a little fiend called ME.

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Claim the Quiet Victory

Most days, I love my writing routine. Out of bed by 4 a.m.. Sitting down with coffee to write at 4:30. (Yes, I’m one of those insane morning people. Yes, I actually ENJOY getting up that early. Yes, I have been tested to see if I am, in fact, a cyborg.)

But today was not a typical today. Today I was exhausted, grouchy, and taking it out on my characters.

And that’s okay.

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