NaNoWriMo: The Power of Daily Writing
Welcome, writers! We are well into our first week of NaNoWriMo—and I am sure you are noticing the changes in your writing muscles already. Your neck may be a bit sore but your fingers feel more limber. You may be writing a bit faster than you did earlier in the week. No doubt, you are aware that you are piling up words and daily becoming who you have always wanted to be: a writer.
Today’s guest post comes from author and writing teacher, Kelly L. Stone. And get this: she is giving away a 15-page critique, any genre, to one of our commenters. So comment away, writers! —Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
The Power of Daily Writing by Kelly L. Stone
If you are participating in NaNoWrMo this November, congratulations! Participating in this event strengthens your writing muscle and will hopefully help you realize a very important concept: there is power in daily writing!
Daily writing leads to success, no ifs, ands, or buts. That’s because it forces you to focus like a laser on your work in progress and hone your writing skills whether you feel like writing or not. This in turn influences your subconscious mind to help you start thinking of yourself as a writer (or reinforces that belief) and that in turns affects your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors toward writing. Writing begets writing. Daily writing begets writing success.
Success is predicted by how you think, feel, and behave toward your writing goals. A person who has success-oriented thoughts and who feels confident in her abilities will naturally take daily actions that bring about her desired outcomes. She will feel enthusiastic, motivated, and dedicated to those outcomes because she thinks, feels, and acts her way toward reaching them, and she does the things every day necessary to achieve success.
This is the case with writing. An aspiring author who thinks positive thoughts and believes in herself will touch her craft daily, which will generate the enthusiasm and motivation to set goals. She will then cultivate the dedication required to take steps to reach those goals over a long period of time. She will write every day or take action every day toward her writing dream. She will act in methodical, self-disciplined ways that bring about desire outcomes. She will think, feel, and act in ways that stimulate enthusiasm, motivation, and dedication for achieving success as a writer as she defines it.
You can be that writer. Even if you have gotten off-track with your efforts to become a successful writer, it’s never too late to start again! Through daily writing, you can generate the enthusiasm, motivation, and dedication needed to work toward your long-term writing goals. You can create for yourself what is known in psychology as a positive self-fulfilling prophecy, which is a belief system that sets you up to succeed.
For more information on the power of daily writing, see chapter 1 in LIVING WRITE: The Secret to Inviting Your Craft Into Your Daily Life.
Question for discussion: How does daily writing help you achieve success? Remember: Kelly L. Stone is giving away a 15-page critique, any genre, to one of our commenters. Leave a comment to be entered into the drawing to win!
About the Author. Kelly L. Stone (www.AuthorKellyLStone.com) is a licensed mental health counselor and writer. Her women’s fiction novel, GRAVE SECRET (Mundania Press, September 2007) was called “powerful” by RT Book Reviews. She is also the author of the TIME TO WRITE series of craft books for writers; the latest in the series is LIVING WRITE: The Secret to Bringing Your Craft Into Your Daily Life (Adams Media, September 2010).
Kelly, I just finished reading Thinking Write last night, and immediately started reading it again. There’s way too much stuff in there to “get it” the first time 🙂 I am using some of the techniques you suggested in the book, and have seen a vast improvement in my mood and my optimism. I’ve also attended your workshops at the last 2 Moonlight and Magnolias conferences. Amazing stuff you teach. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.
Rochelle, thanks for hosting Kelly. I’m definitely going to check your blog and website out. Looks like great information.
Cheryel, Thanks for taking time to visit & comment on Kelly’s blog post & to check out my blog! And happy writing! -Rochelle
Thanks so much for reading Thinking Write! I’m glad it’s helping you! Thanks for stopping by here today!
I am fan of both you ladies and I have all your books. Yes, I truly bellieve that you must write every day. You keep the story rolling and you keep you rolling. We can easily get sidetracked when we don’t. A wonderful scene or idea gets forgotten or loses its steam if we are not at it every day. It is about the momentum!
Thanks, Linda! And I agree. Had to force myself to work on my NaNo project today, and I am glad I did. The inspiration hit in the middle of the scene. That usually happens–but sometimes it is hard to get started.
Linda, so great to see you here! Thanks for stopping by!
One of the wonderful things about writing this month is getting these helpful blogs from Rochelle and learning about people like you and the resources you have available.
Thanks, Sally! How goes the writing?
Thanks so much Sally! Good luck with NaNoWrMo!!
Many thanks to both of you, Kelly and Rochelle! I must admit I am quite new to this blog after a friend of mine recommended it, but after three weeks following it I’m delighted to find very useful advice in every article. Through previous guest posts I have also gotten to know other excellent writers and (when available) suscribed to their blogs too.
So for me, reading writers’ blogs is becoming a way of staying connected to writing and honing my craft daily. Each article inspires me to continue practicing and trying out new things, usually with wonderful results. It forces me out of my confort zone, but sometimes these little pearls of advice find a way to show in my current project. It’s very exciting!
Writing daily is something I could only start doing recently, but in this short time it has already become the most sought-after moment of my day. Like going to the gym, when I start writing my muscles feel tight and my mind keeps thinking on all sorts of things unrelated to my current activity. But as the minutes go by I can feel the energy starting to flow and ideas pop suddenly into consciousness. The best part is finishing my daily word-count goal and feel the satisfaction of another mission accomplished. But woe if for any reason I did not write a given day! Then I feel worthless, disappointed. And going back to where I was gets more difficult and the inner excuses to not write become even stronger.
To prevent this, I have just started my own writer’s blog (in Spanish, though) to help me keep writing daily. It is also a great source of feedback from the few friends who are already visiting. It gives me enough motivation to keep me going!
So thank you both for the great advice and inspiration, I’ll be sure to track down your books and start adding them to my library.
Javier, It is so good to hear that this blog and my wonderful guest writers have been helpful to you! I love how you compare daily writing to daily exercise–that has been my experience, too. The first few minutes on the treadmill are hard, but once I get into it, I love it. It’s the same with the daily writing. The first few minutes are tough and my brain is full of the day’s worries. But once I get going, I have plenty to say, and the time passes quickly! So glad that you have started your own daily practice AND a blog! All the best, Rochelle
I’m ashamed to say that I have not been writing daily for quite awhile. It seems like I never have time. I’m a mom, wife, adjunct professor, water aerobic instructor, home-maker, daughter, yada yada. At the end of the day, I am tired but so empty. When I am writing, I feel charged with electricity. I love the creation. I just don’t understand why I can’t get back to it. I have spells when I am writing often and then the business of life gets in the way and I get moody because I am not showing up for the call.
Wow. I really didn’t mean for this to be a whiny rant. I just wanted to thank you for guiding me to the right actions. I know what I need to do now–get your books and read the blogs.
Wow, Noreen! You do so much–no wonder it is hard to find time to write. Here’s what I tell my clients to do: give your most productive or best hour (or ten minutes) of the day to writing. Good luck with getting back to the writing! I am rooting for you!
Hey Noreen! You don’t sound whiny at all. It can be hard to find time to write sometimes depending on what’s going on in your life. I suggest your write in very short blocks of time– 10 or 15 minutes– use an egg timer– it helps. And be prepared to write anywhere at any time. Eventually , all that little time adds up! (There are 7 writing schedules in TIME TO WRITE if you want to check that out– something for everyone! 🙂 )
Thanks for stopping by,
I want to answer your discussion question – how does daily writing help ME achieve success: simply put, writing my thoughts and feelings out in my blog helps me to keep the demons at bay. Somehow, during my multiple wartime deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan, I picked up a few demons who tend to plague me at odd times in the form of PTSD. When I feel one of them creeping up on me, I fire up the computer, plug in a jump drive an pull up my latest WIP. Some days I can channel humor into my work; many days involve tears, but after the feelings are on paper, in black and white, I can read them and push them away from me. Then I’m able to go about my normal life, knowing that the demons are imprisoned in the words for a little while. Writing has literally saved my life.
Thank you for the great blog and the encouragement that you’ve written into it for all of us writers and would-be writers!
Martha, thank you for this. There is a ton of research that backs up what you know to be true: writing heals us! Thanks for stopping by!
Hi Martha, thank you so much for your comment and for stopping by today. Keep writing!
I’m so glad I finally stuck my toes in the twitterverse and somehow found your blog/website. Great post, Kelly! I completely agree– getting some writing in every day is crucial to developing a healthy writing mind. As Javier mentioned, it’s like exercise. Any exercise is good exercise, and sometimes it helps to change it up. For me, if I just can’t work on my novel, I take a break and attempt a haiku! If I can’t finish an article, I turn a grocery list into a limerick!
So, how many kinds of supermarket aisle foods can you rhyme with ‘chimpanzee?’ 🙂
What a great idea for a writing break–haiku and limerick! What a great idea! Thank you, Larina!
I stink at poetry so don’t think I can rhyme anything with chimpanzee (cheese?) Ha ha. That’s a good mind exercise. Thanks for stopping by today.
Sally wins the critique, and Noreen wins the book!
Sally, send your material to me at Kelly@AuthorKellyLStone.com
Noreen, send Rochelle your mailing address.
This is so encouraging! Especially since it’s NaNoWriMo time! Thanks for reminding us why we do it! 😉
Thanks, Zoe! I appreciate you stopping by the site!
So funny. I signed up to do nano this year, to work on my next novel, having completed all but the climax and one chapter on my current novel (which, by the way, I was working on last year during nano!) And I have not written much on my nano project, but it has spurred me to get through the climatic event and move on in my other writing. So it has definitely been a productive part of my writing life, though I haven’t gotten more than 1600 words done for the nano project. I keep saying I will . . . and then I keep going back to my final chapters of the other book.
Wow–what a great story. I am glad you are finishing your book. Are you also a marathon runner? I got a lot of inspiration from marathon runners when I wrote my new book, Write-A-Thon!