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OTHER ITA SITES:
Confessions Of An Erotic Romance Writer: Getting My Groove
Few people understand the importance of a ROUTINE when making a pittance...er, I meant a living...as a writer. Where do you work? How do you work? When do you work? These are all questions a selling writer fields with every interview.
Here is the usual answer: I work wherever I am, as diligently as possible, as often as possible. This is my job and I must treat it as such or I will end up eating Oreos while watching Gilmore Girls.
Here is the real answer: Whenever I can�t think of something else to do...including watching Gilmore Girls.
Therefore, in order to write, I must create a routine�aka, RUT�so deep, so intractable, so unforgiving that I have no choice but to write. Sucks, but it�s true. No one (except maybe people whom I despise) actually LOVE writing. I love thinking about writing. I love having written. But the act of putting words to paper is a royal pain in the butt.
Therefore, I must create an environment where a royal pain in the butt is BETTER than the alternatives. In this way, writing is much like exercise. I mean I like the results, but do I really want to lift weights or run on a treadmill? Do I really want to find a new ways to write perky, kick-butt or find the right dialogue for scary villain guy? Heck, no. But I don�t get paid unless I write.
It takes three weeks to establish a habit. Therefore, the initial creation of aforementioned RUT begins with SET A DAILY TIME to create the groove. Write at the same time every day for three weeks. Could be for twenty minutes, could be for ten hours�whatever works for you.
Though I should say RUTS are really hard to create for ten hours. That�d be like waking up one day and saying, it�s time to run a 10k or put a wall around China. Possible, but do you really want to do that? Every day for three weeks?
Step two is to CREATE A DAILY GOAL. I choose a page count goal. I don�t get to nap or get a pedicure until I�ve written seven pages. One book it took me four months to have enough time for that spa visit. By the way, I recommend starting with a small daily goal then adding up. That�s much better than the way I did it of counting how many pages I need to write daily to make my contract. Panic also works wonders as an incentive, but I digress.
Many people set a timer for their daily goal�30 minutes, two hours, whatever. Unfortunately, I�ve found that a timer only times the moments when I sit in my chair. It doesn�t actually encourage written pages because there�s lovely distractions like e-mail and internet blogs. And that leads to the next step.
Step 3 � REMOVE DISTRACTIONS. I write in certain cafes specifically because they don�t have internet. I know people who have taken all games off their computer. Gasp! The alternative to this is to CREATE INCENTIVES. Bribery is alive and well in my rut-creation world. Finish two pages and then get CHOCOLATE! Whatever it takes. You may not be able to fit your hips into the author photo, but heck you�ll have published books that contain a lovely head shot!
Then finally�CREATE A TRIGGER. You know that fabulous moment when the words flow and everything is right with your creative world? Well, me neither, but I swear we can prepare for those moments by creating a unique trigger to reinforce a writing zone. Scent is a powerful tool. During your three weeks, burn a beeswax candle.
Pretty soon, smelling beeswax will leap you into the creative zone. Not a candle fan or afraid you�ll accidentally set a contract on fire? Coffee works fabulous for me. Smell coffee, engage brain. Taste a soy latte�yes, I really do drink those�it�s time for serious writing! This works in the reverse, too. Taste Oreo? Get ready for Gilmore Girls. Feel sexy lingerie...well, you get the idea.
The ugly fact is that a writer�s life must be filled with self-discipline. If you�re short on that, then either give up on having a paying career as a writer or find a way to mire yourself deep in the writing rut. And who knows, sniff some caffeine and you might just end up on the best seller�s list.
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Travel Part B