Every week, The Adventurous Writer features a writing strategy from Quips & Tips for Successful Writers (or another first-rate source!). This week, the strategy is how to “write for one hour.”
My sample chapters to a publisher are due in a couple of weeks, my series of seven health articles is due in one week, an editor needs me to rewrite an introduction to an article I recently submitted (my original isn’t gripping enough), and my blog schedule may be just a little too demanding.
How do you write when you feel overwhelmed, unmotivated, or just plain not good enough?
You work for one hour.
This is one of the most effective ways to write books, articles, and book proposals: tackle your target in short bursts of time. You can get a surprising amount of work done in one hour, my friends. And even if you “just” get one paragraph or one page written in your hour, you’ll write another paragraph or page in another hour, and then another…and before you know it you’ll have a pile of writing.
Trust me. It works. My three sample chapters of See Jane Soar are due soon and even though I’m plagued those familiar old writing demons, I’m chipping away at the chapters for an hour a day…and they’re coming to life.
Here’s what accomplished writer – and writing teacher – Natalie Goldberg says about writing (and being a wanna-bee writer).
“I hear people say they’re going to write. I ask, when?” she says. “They give me vague statements. Indefinite plans get dubious results. When we’re concrete about our writing time, it alleviates that thin constant feeling of anxiety that writers have – we’re barbecuing hot dogs, riding a bike, sailing out in the bay, shopping for shoes, even helping a sick friend, but somewhere nervously at the periphery of our perception we know we belong somewhere else – at our desk!”
If you want to be a writer, then you have to write. If you feel overwhelmed (like I do), then you have to write in smaller chunks of time. If you’re seriously struggling with procrastination, read 5 Tips for Ending Your Writing Procrastination.
If you love to write but you wrestle with your writer’s voice, you might find my Writing Strategy 1 helpful: Letting Your Writing Go.
And finally…if you’d like to learn more about my book idea that’s hooked a few publishers (but hasn’t reeled them in quite yet), visit See Jane Soar.
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What are your thoughts? I welcome your comments or questions about this writing strategy – writing for just one hour – below…