Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Encourage yourself - Writing Workshop Series

Encourage Yourself - Writing Workshop Series

Today's post will be a little different than the previous post. We have covered some of the technical aspects of being a writer, so today I want to shift to how to stay the course and not give up. No matter who you are as a writer, everyone gets discouraged or hits a wall and wonders what will they write or is their story really worth telling? 

What are some of the things that keep us from writing?

 ~Too busy: Your schedule just doesn't allow you to write as often as you would like. With work, family, church and any other activity you add to your list, writing begins to move further down the list of priorities. Sometimes when you finally get a chance to write to your surprise, months have gone by. When that happens it is difficult to pick up where you left off and you may feel your writing flow is gone.

How do you handle this all too real situation? Don't give up. Sometimes as a writer you will have uninterrupted times to write and at other times you may feel you never have the opportunity at all. One way to deal with this is to set an amount of pages to write for every time you do get a chance to write. If you only get 5 days out of the month set a 5 page limit,  and that will result in at least 25 pages written for that month. The great things is if you are able to write more than the 5 pages, keep going and let your creative juices flow.

I want to make a note here, this is a time just to write, not edit. If you edit at this time your page output will be a lot less. I find if I am able to write, I don't want to stop that flow, just let the ideas and creativity flow. Yes, it might not be grammatically correct. Your sentence structure may be off. The key for right now is idea transfer; from you to the paper. Just keep writing!

~You don't think your story/idea is good enough. If you wonder about your story/idea being good enough or concerned if anyone will read your work, you are not alone. Any writer would tell you they go through this from time to time; some more than others. Your ideas/stories are important to you therefore it is hard to be unemotional about whether others will accept them or not.

How do you handle this all too real situation? This is where your will have to learn to encourage yourself. I think this is the reason why it is important to write an initial story sheet. Your story sheet is in the sense your "resume" about your story. You begin by writing your title or potential title. Give an introduction. In your introduction give as much detail as you can to try and convey your story. Some things you should ensure are present are: What do you hope the outcome will be for those reading your story? How do you want what you are writing to impact your reader? What do I need to say and how will I say it? Then list the sections and/or chapters giving them a title, even if you change them later. This is helpful when writing because you can always go back to this story sheet to make sure you are not getting off track. Taking the time do to this work ahead of time will also help you to flesh out your ideas, which can help you to feel more confident about your work.

It is also important to remind yourself that you were made for a "God sized dream". If you know God has planted this story in your heart, make sure you tell it well. Don't get discouraged if it takes some time, know you are nurturing this God sized dream within you until it comes to completion. Too many times the discouragement comes because we have these ideas that we will whip up a story in a month or two, it will go to publisher within another month and by month three we will have a completed book in our hands. While this might happen (very unlikely however), you may not be too happy with your actual outcome. In fact, be ready to take some time. My first book took two years before I had the finished copy in my hand. After that it has moved quicker, but that took time and experience on my part. I still don't rush my stories. I feel what I have to say is so important that I want to make sure I develop it well. 

~ Just too tired! Boy do I understand this problem. You finally get all your other priorities done, now you can write. You think "YEAH." The only problem, you are too exhausted to write and you know anything your write now will be gibberish. So that simply adds to you feeling discouraged all over again. You begin to wonder and feel frustrated because you just can't seem to win when it comes to being able to write.

How do you handle this all too real situation? The truth is you will have to take your writing out of the optional things to do and make it a priority as well. It may take time for you to re-adjust your schedule but I believe if you feel you must write, they you will. I saw a video recently, actually I only heard it so not sure who the person was. The man on the video was talking about doing something you felt was important. He used the example of breathing. He said if you hold someone's head under the water what do they want? (My interpretation here) Do they want to know what's on television? Do they want to catch up on what's going on on Facebook or any other social media? What do they want? Very simple, they want to BREATH! When your writing becomes as important to you as breathing, you will then be able to handle these obstacles. If you are tired, you'll make sure you don't leave your writing until that time when you are ready to pass out. Instead you will make sure you set a time to write. That's what I do. I set my schedule weekly and put writing as a priority on that list. Do I do it every time, no, but every week I set it as a goal that I work towards. Little by little I am accomplishing my writing goals. In fact, I am at that place that if I don't write (something, even my blogs and post), I almost feel like I can't breath.

~ I may not ever be a famous, well-known writer, if so, is it worth making the effort? Sometimes when I talk to people about their writing this is a thought they have, that maybe they shouldn't write because they won't be famous. If your reason for writing is to be famous, then you are right, you shouldn't pursue being a writer. Being a writer isn't about being famous or popular, it's about having a passion to tell and share a story or something you believe will help others. Now hear me correctly, you do need to promote your work and you should desire that your work gets in as many hands as possible. Even with that, your main goal can't be I want to be famous. Your passion and goal has to be, I can help someone. When that is your goal, you will find what you reap is much richer. 

In essence what I am trying to convey is your dream is worth giving it life. If you find yourself getting discourage for any reason, try encouraging yourself by writing something just for you! Write yourself a love poem about why you have to write, about your passion. Then post it where you write so when you get discouraged you can remind yourself again why this is your life. Reward yourself when you accomplish your goals. Celebrate your achievements. Share your accomplishments with your "cheering team" those that are your encouragement. Set reachable goals, baby steps.For example, maybe you set your goal to complete 3 chapters in 2 months. Or maybe you set a goal to complete 25 pages in one month. Then set your schedule to allow you to write those 25 pages or those 3 chapters within 2 months. 

Whatever you do, make sure you invest in your dream and nurture it until it comes to fruition. Don't let the discouragement stop you. Keep something in your eyesight that reminds you of why you need to write. Yes I said need to write. If you were called to write if you don't do it, it will be like losing your breath. I simply want to encourage you today, BREATH!!!!!

For more information about publishing and promoting, keep checking back as we prepare to launch Tri-Productions Publishing. If you have any questions on how to get started e-mail us @ williamsinnovativenetwork@gmail.com 

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