When asked “What are you doing to improve your craft?” I have to admit to being rather lackadaisical these days. To be honest, I haven’t done a whole lot of writing at all. My current novel, Darkstone, has stalled at 48k words — not because I don’t know what happens next, but because I’ve been too lazy to get to work on it.
As usual, I started the year off busting my butt. I created the goals agenda you see on the side of the page, brainstormed and scheduled my blog posts for the year and also threw flash fiction and short stories into the mix.
And, as usual, I started lagging in March. (I’ve noticed this happens at about the same time every year.) Then in April I had to put my fourteen-year-old fur baby down.
The schedule went off the rails.
/End Bitch Session/
But you’re not here to listen to my woes. My topic is about improving craft, and so I’ll give you some tips and tricks for your own tool box.
Three Tools to Improve Your Craft
Write a journal –
It’s been said before by many people that keeping a journal helps improve your writing. The act of throwing the words out on the page gets you into the writing habit (a very good habit to have!)
I’ve never been a journal writer, but I can’t argue with the logic. There have been countless journalists over the centuries who have poured their emotions into a diary and became successful authors.
If you’re finding yourself stuck, maybe you should sit down and write whatever comes to mind. You can’t find the diamonds without digging through the mine.
Become active in a writing community –
Find a writing community, whether it be online or a face-to-face group of like-minded individuals in your home town. Have brunch once a month. Discuss what you’re doing, what others are doing, what obstacles you may have reached. Just talking with other authors is an awesome way to invigorate yourself as well as learn some interesting new ways to better your craft!
This particular blog entry, as noted above, is associated with the Forward Motion writing community. I joined…ten years or more ago? Wow! Having the support of other authors and methods of reporting out my production was an immense gift! You should try it!
Employ writing prompts –
Many writing-oriented websites have writing prompts. Make a promise to yourself to do one writing prompt a week, a month, every other Friday, whatever. The prompts will jump start your creativity, and you’ll never know what will come of it. (Maybe a new idea for a book!)
Writer’s Digest has a list of them.
Are you visually stimulated? Try the Tumblr version of writing prompts.
Prefer a more holistic approach? Skye from Think Ink has a wonderful set of prompts. You can see them here at Writerology.
What are you doing to improve your craft? Comment below and share! Perhaps something you do will inspire someone else to get back in gear and write!
Today’s post was inspired by the Merry-go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We’ve gathered several writers from amateur to professional, and we discuss one topic each month. If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and how their writing year went, check out the rest of the tour! On the 12th, the entry was by Bonnie R. Schutzman. Tomorrow, see what Alex F. Fayle has to say on the matter! Happy reading!