by Rochelle Melander
Almost everyone I talk to wants to write more than they did last year.
But how? You must do something differently.
I’ve been staring at overstocked cupboards for years. Every January, I’m determined to clean them. Sometimes, I dust the cans and put them back. Mostly, I just think about how nice it would be to have clean cupboards.
This past weekend, my daughter helped me clear out two cupboards. She talked to me while I worked. She encouraged me to toss the ten-year-old tea and the expired food. Without her encouragement, I’d still be thinking about clean cupboards. Now I am reimagining how to use these bare spaces.
Her support got me thinking about what I can do to make myself more successful at writing this year. Here are three tools that can help you whenever and however you write.
Make writing a habit
When you make writing a habit, you just do it. You don’t have to decide or do procrastination gymnastics. No more should I or shouldn’t I. You just put in the time.
Your turn: You can make writing a habit by piggybacking it onto an established habit. What do you do regularly each day? Drink coffee? Open your computer? Pair that habit with writing.
When I did National Novel Writing Month the first time, I fell in love with tracking my progress. Knowing how many words I wrote each day helped me to see what I had accomplished. This past year, I spent more time revising than writing—so I tracked my hours. Both tools have helped me stick to my writing goals.
When I fell short of my weekly goal, tracking helped me see it. Thankfully, I had writing partners and coaches to help me figure out how to fix it.
Your turn: How will you track your writing? When will you evaluate your progress?
On many days, I sit at my writing desk and ask myself: who cares? Who cares if I finish this novel? Who cares if I write this picture book? Who cares if I publish another word?
My writing partners care. They ask me how the novel is going. They are waiting to read the next draft of my picture book.
If you want to write and you don’t have a book contract or a deadline, then you need an accountability plan. Join a critique group, find a writing partner, or join my accountability group.
Your turn: Who will hold you accountable this year?
Summing it Up
Yup. Habit. Tracking. Accountability. That’s all you need to write more in 2024. Sounds simple, right? It is. If you have someone encouraging you to keep going. Let me know if you need my support.
On the writing habit: https://writenowcoach.com/the-writing-habit/
On bullet journaling: https://writenowcoach.com/how-bullet-journaling-can-boost-writing-productivity/