Best Practices for Authors

Romance Writers of America is one of the places that shines for sharing what works for authors. Every meeting and 100 time more at conventions, I am blown away by the level of open sharing and caring that the organization puts forth.

Here are some of the fun things that have been shared recently. Use what works for you, maybe try something new on this list, but know that not all of these will work for everyone.

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1. Plan the next day before going to bed. Know what time you have available for writing, what you want to accomplish during that time, and let someone know so that you are accountable. This is one reason sprinting (short bursts of uninterrupted writing) works for me, as I have to report a word count at the end of the hour.

2. Write the dialogue for the next scene at the end of the day.

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3. End in the middle of a sentence where you know what’s going to happen next.

4. Write every day, whatever you can. A paragraph, an outline, an idea sketch. Just write.

5. Create your own writing space, your cave or lounge or perfect oasis. I call mine the Cabana. It’s not ready yet, but will be soon.

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Another thing that will help you as you go along is making an Absolute Yes list. What are the things you absolutely want to keep doing, want to say yes to? List those things. Anything else that comes up to take you away from your writing, think about it. Is it something you will really enjoy? Will it be useful to you in some way?

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Your Yes List can change over time. Right now my Yes List includes four blogs and a lot of Facebook pages that update daily. I can make some adjustments to those, I think, and I will free up some writing time that way.

Social Media is a huge consumer of your time. Tweeting, Facebook posting, and Pinterest “research” can drain half your day away. Remember that Social Media is a play thing, and treat it accordingly. Only use it on breaks, limit your time there, and do not spend any of your time arguing about anything. Smile and move on. Your time is much too valuable to waste in a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

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I hope you have a writers group to go to when your spirits need lifting or your questions can only be answered by other writers. That is time spent well for a writer. Keep moving forward and please share in the comments any tips you have for your fellow writers. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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