Categorized | For the love of writing

Writer’s Digest: 5 THINGS TO STOP DOING (IF YOU REALLY WANT TO FINISH WRITING YOUR NOVEL)

Posted on 01 November 2012 by Alice

Here’s a great column by Kevin Kaiser, for Writer’s Digest! Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo?

Your novel isn’t going to write itself (I mean, if it were, it probably would have finished itself a long time ago!). Here are the five things you need to stop doing immediately if you want turn yourself into someone

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who stops asking questions about how to write a manuscript and starts bragging to friends about how you completed your manuscript.

1. Nix the excuses.

We get it, life is busy and writing is hard work sometimes. Still, excuses never changed anything, never inspired anybody, and never made any dreams a reality. Goals like writing a novel don’t die on their own. We suffocate them with our excuses.

2. Stop trying.

Your novel needs less “trying” and more “doing” from you. Like Yoda said, Do or do not. There is no try.

3. Stop the Inner Critic’s crazy rants.

Shut it down. Duct tape its mouth. Stand on its neck. Whatever you do, don’t let the Inner Critic make you doubt yourself.

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There’s no reason to. This is open range and there are no rules, no right and wrong. You can do Whatever. You. Want.

4. Don’t overdose on caffeine.

Seriously. I’m sorry, but it has to be said. Call it tough love if you want, but more writers go stark raving mad in espresso-fueled rages than any other artists (with the exception of polka musicians, for obvious reasons).

Trust me on this. You don’t want your neighbors finding you crawling through their pet door at 3am in search of more coffee because you ran out at your house two hours earlier. Not that that’s happened to me. I’ve just heard stories.

5. Stop thinking it should be easier.

That’s like hoping gravity will get less gravity … er … ish. Less gravity like. OK, poor choice of words. You know what I mean. Bottom line: writing is what it is. Sometimes it’s easier than at other times. Expect it to be work and you’ll be thrilled when it doesn’t feel that way.

Guest column by Kevin Kaiser, who is the author of @WriMo: A 30-Day Survival Guide for Writers, the profits of which go to support the future of NaNoWriMo. He blogs about how to write for a living without losing your soul. Follow @KevinSKaiser on Twitter.


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