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...
Author Felicity Hayes-McCoy's latest novel, The Transatlantic Book Club released in November 2020.
When writer Felicity Hayes-McCoy senses a block in her focus while writing, she checks in with her body by asking herself, “What are my toes doing?” If she discovers her toes are tense or clenched, she realizes she is writing from a place of fight-or-flight. Tense toes indicate that a writer has given too much power to the rules of writing.
A strict adherence to the rules of writing without the freedom to explore may contribute to a case of writer’s block. Writing isn’t about getting it right or trying harder. Instead, Felicity recommends writers try soft instead.
Trying soft, or being kind to yourself as a writer, is an act of generosity to your inner artist. Being kind to ourselves allows us to approach our work with reverence for ourselves and for the work by eliminating the pressure we may feel as we...
A common lament among writers is how difficult it can be to maintain a regular rhythm of writing. For many of us, our attention is pulled in multiple directions with various commitments to our day jobs, families, marketing tasks, or community responsibilities. These are often good and necessary diversions from our writing work; however, if we want to make progress as a writer, we need to develop and stick to a plan.
The key to finishing your work is simple, but it’s not easy. Hope*writers asked children’s author S. D. Smith how he commits to deep work.
He encourages writers to “stop not writing” and offers the following tips on how you can commit to your own rhythm of writing.
We are finite, and so are the hours in our day. Our energy and focus are limited, and no two writers have the same inner or outer resources. By recognizing our personal limitations as well as our strengths, we’re able to make informed decisions about...