Are you in a writing rut? No matter how long you’ve been a writer, it can be challenging to stick to a realistic writing rhythm. Our needs, responsibilities, and demands on our schedules evolve over time. It’s easy to forget that our writing commitments need to shift with them.
If you’ve experienced a change in your life or you’re looking to develop a more consistent writing schedule, it might be time to reevaluate your current process. Keep reading for four tips to help you create a realistic rhythm for your writing life.
Assessing your life is the first step before you can dive into the details of developing your rhythm. If you haven’t taken the time to evaluate your current season of life, the other steps will not be as helpful. Consider what responsibilities you have right now and how those responsibilities impact your time and creative energy. Are you a caretaker of small children or an elderly relative? Do...
Do you struggle to call yourself a writer? If so, you’re not alone. Writing coach and author Allison Fallon says that many of the writers she works with struggle with mental obstacles like this one. “The actual practical obstacles to writing are not that hard to overcome,” Allison says. “It’s the mental obstacles that are the hardest.”
Based on her experience coaching countless writers, Allison shares four false beliefs writers must overcome to make progress in their work.
Some people receive a lot of affirmation about their writing early in their lives, which helps them call themselves writers from the get-go. However, many of us take a circuitous route to writing or begin writing later in life. We may not have the affirmation of others because much of our work has been done in private.
“Writers worry that they’re not a real writer.” — Allison Fallon
Are you feeling stuck in your writing? Do you need a creative nudge to put your pen to paper? Writing prompts might be the solution you need to kick-start your writing this month. A writing prompt can take the form of an image, a photograph, a single word, or a thought-provoking question — the options are endless.
The beauty of engaging with prompts is that there is no right or wrong way to use them. We can shape and reshape prompts to keep us consistently putting words on the page.
Read on to discover three benefits of incorporating prompts into your writing practice.
Getting started is often the hardest part of writing. We’ve all stared at a blank screen for excessive amounts of time and wondered how to fill it. Prompts give writers a place to start. They allow us to use our writing time more effectively by eliminating the question of what to write. By offering a fixed starting point, writing prompts help us to...
Do you have a plan for your writing in the new year? All writers benefit from taking the time to plan their progress and write down their goals, but when we create a rough plan without specific, actionable goals, we risk staying stuck in the dreaming phase.
Studies show that writing down specific goals and the necessary steps to achieve them is far more effective than simply resolving to do something in our minds. Making a plan and writing it down gives us a visual we can return to again and again, and it helps us make decisions based on our predetermined goals. No more chasing rabbit trails! With a written plan, we can see the small steps we need to take to make progress on our bigger goals.
It’s daunting to look ahead at an entire calendar year and attempt to fill in all of the blank space. Life changes, vocational shifts, or changes in our audience and purpose can quickly disrupt twelve months’ worth of planning. When we...
Many of us romanticize summer as a time for carefree relaxation, novels read poolside, and backyard barbecues. All these things may happen, but the reality is, most of us continue to work regular hours throughout the summer, fitting fun into the margins on our calendars.
In summer, our everyday work life can feel the squeeze as responsibilities expand. Children may be home from school, schedules quickly fill up with get-togethers, and perhaps we’ve planned a week or two of vacation.
For writers, frustration can build up when our regular rhythm of work is no longer possible. If you have a primary job, writing time is often the first thing to go. If you write for a living, summer can cause serious stress to your regular writing schedule.
At hope*writers, we believe everything is figureoutable — even your summer writing routine. The following three tips will help you create a flexible plan to make progress on your writing this summer.
When seasoned editor Cindy Bunch decided to write a book of her own, she found that in spite of her expertise, she still struggled with negative thoughts about her own work. Frustrated and increasingly empathetic towards her writing clients, she began to use soul care practices to silence her inner critic.
Instead of ignoring the inner critic, Cindy suggests we welcome the negative thoughts, process them, and then release them. She offered hope*writers the following suggestions for quieting the inner critic and moving forward with our work.
Is there someone in your life who’s a good listener? Who supports your writing no matter what? Who always has a kind response, a great pep talk, or gentle kick in the pants? Tell them how you feel about your writing life and process those negative feelings with them. No one else knows the internal battle a writer faces with fear, discouragement, boredom, or lack of motivation. We’re the only...
Vague writing rarely lingers in the mind of a reader. Have you ever read a description, an image, or a phrase that stayed with you long after you finished a book? Those words likely remained with you because they were detailed and specific.
Specificity is an often-overlooked quality that makes for excellent writing. This is great if you pay close attention to life around you and can recall it easily. But in the age of information overload, social media, and endless distractions, it can be a real challenge to remember our ideas and capture the details that accompany them.
How do we write in vivid detail when so many of us, regardless of genre, draw from experience and memory? This one simple practice can help: Write down details from your life experience every day.
This practice isn’t necessarily for your latest writing project. It’s not for your to-do list, for tracking submissions, or to brainstorm new ideas. Instead, set aside this time to write...
Goal-setting guru Lara Casey recently joined hope*writers to offer words of wisdom and grace for the writer with big dreams and a fuzzy idea of how to make them happen. Lara is a three-time author, the creator of the PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner, and the founder and CEO of Cultivate What Matters.
She’s both a writer and an expert in grace-filled goal-setting of all kinds, so we asked her how we can apply her grace-filled goal-setting techniques to the writing life.
Lara shared three key tools that we can stick in our toolbox and use to structure our writing goals in a way that is both kind to ourselves and productive.
When she set out to write her first book, Make It Happen, Lara planned to write as much as one chapter a day. She soon realized this goal wasn’t realistic for her writing habits. Instead, she decided to embrace the power of little-by-little progress and adjusted her daily word...
Allison Fallon, author and writing coach, believes a daily practice of writing is beneficial for everyone, whether or not they consider themselves a writer.
“Writing is not an elite activity. Writing is communication and self-discovery, writing is spirituality, writing is curiosity, writing is exploration. Writing is a human instinct.” — Allison Fallon
Based on her experience working with writers, Allison offers a tried-and-true method for developing a daily writing habit. It applies to those of us in the early stages of exploration as well as seasoned writers who struggle with creating and clarifying content.
Allison sat down with hope*writers to share her thoughts on writing, plus her favorite prompt to help writers get writing on a regular basis.
Research shows that all of us can benefit from a daily writing practice, whether or not we call ourselves writers. Writing regularly for twenty minutes a day has been...
How do we live a soulful life in a world of media overwhelm, hustle, and increasing complexity? This is the question author John Eldredge answers for hope*writers in our conversation about how to care for the soul of a writer. An author of multiple books, John discovered that his writing suffered when he didn’t pay attention to his own needs during the writing process. He realized how easy it is to live in the shallows of life, moving from one thing to the next, while forgetting to care for his heart.
As writers, we have to be especially intentional and deliberate about soul care so that we have something to offer the world out of the wellsprings of our own lives. John recommends three practices for healing your writer’s heart if you’ve been swept up in the hustle of life.
When the pace of life and the constant barrage of information overwhelm us, beauty is good medicine. It heals, nourishes, and calms the soul, while also awakening...