Monday, January 5, 2015

Now that the holidays are behind us

Now that the holidays are behind us, we all need to get back to work. Actually, I got exactly 3 days off. And not back to back. Too many deadlines, too little Susan to go around.

Anyway, what are my tips for getting back into the swing of things after a bit of a lull?

1. Read your synopsis! Don't try to go back to work without knowing what you're working on. I've done that. I've written tons of pages I had to cut because I thought I knew my story but I got ahead of myself in the action or took the story in a wrong direction. Don't do that. Read your synopsis.

2. Be ruthless about your schedule. Set a starting time and stick to it. Habits are your best friend when it comes to getting things done. Figure out the best time of the day for you to write and get your butt in the chair and create the habit of getting your butt into the chair at the same time every day. Before you know it, you will automatically walk to your computer at your scheduled writing time and you will be ready to write.

3.  Let yourself go. Now that you've read your synopsis and know the direction of your story, don't be a stickler for perfection. Give yourself permission to write an awful draft. Or, if you're like me, write an awful scene or two that  you can polish the next day before you write that day's portion of dirty draft.

4. Give yourself some deadlines. Wow. Deadlines served me well last year. Knowing that if I missed one deadline my entire schedule would fall like dominoes, I scrambled to always get things in on time. Especially proposals. Proposals can (and usually will) be changed. Editors will have comments. The story might have gelled more fully in your brain by the time you actually sit down to write your book. So do your best work, but also don't over-think. Give yourself deadlines for finishing your proposal, your draft, your first polish, your final draft and you will get where you want to go.

It doesn't matter if you're a full-time writer or someone seeking to write her first book, these four things will get you back to work at top speed in no time.

Happy Monday...and Happy Reading!

susan meier


Donna Fasano said...

Great suggestions! I am so ready to get back into the swing of things! Thank you, Susan.

Donna Fasano
Author of Following His Heart
Join my Street Team: Prima Donnas

1penns07 said...

You're welcome, Donna. I'm one of those people who works by habit. I get up at the same time, and get to work at the same time every day. So when my schedule gets screwed up, it takes me awhile to get back into it. So though it's taken me years to figure this all out...those are my four best tips.