Last month I talked about Scrivener, a software tool that has enhanced my writing process. This month I will discuss other essentials.
When I present workshops on writing, I have a list of basic suggestions:
- READ—All readers don’t write, but all writers must read. Read all the time and read widely. It doesn’t matter if you choose print, digital, audio or whatever is coming along. Just read. It will help you evolve as a writer. You will find some approaches to avoid and others to emulate.
- WRITE—It’s much easier to “have written” than to actually write, but if we want to be writers, we must write. Don’t create unreachable goals, but commit to writing regularly. Tip: I began blogging reluctantly, but it has been a great discipline because I’ve had to write to a schedule, whether self-imposed or committed as a guest blogger.
- MEET—We writers are a strange breed, often solitary, lost in our own worlds. It’s good to meet others of the same uniqueness from time to time, both online and in person. Writing groups are an excellent place to meet, share, learn and critique. There are many benefits to memberships including news of courses, contests, meetings, freebies, etc.
LEARN—Find out about courses, workshops, conferences and seminars. There are free and inexpensive options out there if you look for them. We’re never finished learning.
- GMC—In the writing world, this acronym stands for Goal, Motivation and Conflict. Make this personal:
– What’s your goal as a writer? Break it down. What do you hope to accomplish this year, this month, this week, and how will you go about it? How can you hold yourself accountable?
– Why do you write? Think about this until you have a good idea of your motivation. Without it, you will fizzle out when obstacles show up.
– Obstacles…it’s not a matter of “if” but “when.” How important is your writing to you? Set your priorities and carry on, no matter what conflict looms on your horizon.
- And the bonus suggestion: If you are a Christ-follower, you have the added bonus of prayer to shape, guide and enhance your writing. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and commit all your words to Him.
Writers will differ in what they consider the essential tools of the trade. I found a terrific article on this at http://thewritepractice.com/creative-writing-tools/. Check it out.
Blessings on you and your writing.