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How to keep your writing in check

It’s been one week since I decided it was finally time for me to write a book. That was the big obstacle: admitting to everybody I had a goal and hey, please hold me accountable? Except that wasn’t actually the big obstacle. The scariest part was sitting down and writing.

I knew I had to get organized and make a plan for my future novel. Here are some tips I’ve been sticking to that have helped calm my mind and make me believe this is all doable.

Use Google Docs

This has been a lifesaver. Google Docs allows you to have your writing accessible anywhere. Writing in notebooks is great and honestly what I prefer, but with Google I don’t have to worry about my stories being broken up into various notebooks that eventually get misplaced. There’s also no chance of it being deleted from a hard drive or thrown in the trash.

Stay consistent with writing, but don’t force it

If you force yourself to write, it ends up being a chore. There has to be a perfect balance between keeping up with your story but allowing the ideas to flow on their own. Get inspired in the shower? Keep a notebook in there on the sink. Have crazy dreams? Notebook next to your bed. Jot your ideas down as they come (and then transfer them to Google Docs so you don’t lose them.)

Stay relaxed

My anxiety means this whole process is going to be a hell of a run. When it all gets too much, I turn to a hot cup of tea and yoga. Find what works for you. Go running, take photos, play with your pets. Remember to take a break from writing when you feel stuck so you can hit the restart button.

Get it all together and organize

Next to Google Docs, this little tool has made me so excited about writing my book. Lifetick is an online checklist that allows you to set big goals that pertain to your health, career, hobbies and anything else you want to break your life down into. Within those goals you create smaller tasks that add up to help you obtain the main goal. Complete a task and check it off! You also can set due dates for each task with email reminders.

Lifetick also includes dreams you can set. Mine is currently “publish a novel.” I finished all of last week’s goals but here’s what my Lifetick currently looks like:

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 3.59.48 PM

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 3.59.59 PMSee? Easy peasy. And if this website isn’t your thing there are tons of others to help keep you focused.

It’s a basic outline of how things are going for me so far but I think I’m in a good starting place. I’m the kind of person who starts with a rough draft before getting into the specifics. Before I even think of choosing how I’m going to publish or making a book cover, I need to get the story out so I believe I actually have a chance. And this is just how I do things. Tweak this list to fit your needs and get to writing!

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2 thoughts on “How to keep your writing in check

  1. This is inspiring and very helpful!

    I am fifteen and writing my first novel.

    I have followed you and look forward to reading more about your tips and progress and hope you look forward to mine.

    – Jason

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