1. Write with instrumental music playing in the background. I recently saw an informal survey that found those who listened to music while writing were able to write more words per day than those who didn’t. I like to write with instrumental praise music or movie soundtracks playing in the background. Some of my favorite soundtracks are Prince of Tides, The Cider House Rules, and Little Women. You can even download the Original Music from the television series soundtrack, Downton Abbey, and there is a CD called “The Ultimate Collection”. It has music from all Six Seasons.
2. Set a timer. Try this trick. Set your timer for fifteen minutes, and tell yourself you will focus and write for that long. Keep writing and moving ahead in your story without going back to review or revise. Then take a short break and set the timer again. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish in short periods of time like this.
3. Outline the scene first. Before you start writing think through your scene, choose your POV character, the mood and setting and goals for each character. Create a list of descriptive and sensory words you could use in that scene. I find taking a walk and thinking it through first helps me a lot. Lately I’ve been writing by hand some dialogue and outline what will happen in the scene. This gets my creative juices flowing and the scene seems to come together much more quickly when I start typing from those notes.
4. Set a word count goal. Word count goals can be motivating and a helpful guide. I know if I meet my goal each week, then I’ll finish my book on time. That relieves some of the pressure and helps my creativity flow.
5. Write at your most productive time of the day. When are you the most productive and creative? Set aside that time to write, and don’t allow email, Facebook or Pinterest to eat up your best writing time. Turn off your email program and use your less productive times of the day to check email and social media.
6. Wear earphones. Earphones are a great way to block out noise as well as pipe in your favorite music. I have some very comfortable rubber tipped earphones that I wear, and even when I am not listening to music I put them in. I’ve found it helps my family realize I am working and won’t hear them, so they are less likely to interrupt me unless it’s something important.
7. Give yourself permission to write fast and messy. Turn off the internal editor who questions every word, and let your creativity flow. I tell myself I don’t have to write it perfectly, I just have to get it down. You can only revise what you’ve written. So tell yourself it’s okay if it’s awful. You can fix it when you revise.
8. Find an accountability partner. Team up with another writer and commit to checking up on each other. Share your goals and exchange emails at the end of the day to report your word count. Don’t ask them to commit for life, just try it for a set period of time. Knowing someone is waiting to hear how you’ve done that day can be very motivating.
9. Reward yourself for reaching your goals. Why wait until you’ve finished your book to enjoy a reward? Set several short-term goals and celebrate when you reach them. Do something you enjoy when you meet your weekly word count or half way point.
10. Get a comfortable, chair, clothing, and drink. Feeling comfortable while you write is important. Invest in a good chair, wear comfortable clothes and stock up on your favorite drinks. Some authors find changing locations around the house gives them a mental break and it also helps prevent back issues.
Written by Carrie Turanksy
Carrie’s latest book is “Across the blue”, which is an English Historical romance.
Set in Edwardian England, this romance about an English aviation pioneer, James, and the girl, Isabella, who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.
And you can read her blog here too, it’s amazing!! All about her romance novels, and don’t forget to sign up to her wonderful newsletter! In March 2014 my favourite novel, The Governess of Highland Hall was a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. I wrote about it on “My Book Collection“. I praise Carrie for her amazing writing ability that interweaves a story filled with (not just romance), but a deep faith-filled warmth bringing the love of Christianity into a historical setting.
Also check out Surrendered Hearts and read the synopsis there. You can also download the first chapter to read for yourself!
Her website is just stunning and you can get lost in it just as much as her Edwardian books! Her faith and novels inspire me, and reading her novels set in England make me want to go even more!