Writing Away the Winter Blues

I don’t know what weather is like in your part of the world, but here in Winnipeg, we’re in the midst of extremely cold temperatures, and have just had four blizzards in the course of five weeks. Thus, I’ve been spending a lot of time indoors and am grateful to finally have a desk for a proper ergonomic chair in my office now. Days spent editing are often accompanied by a recording of a yule log, with a space heater keeping me warm.

The holidays have come and gone and, like a lot of people, I’ve made a few resolutions for 2017. I try to keep my resolutions achievable, but still lofty. If a resolution is easy to achieve, then it’s not a challenge. However, if a resolution is impossible to reach, then it just becomes frustrating.

One of my resolution is to keep my weekends devoted to writing time, while focusing the week days on honing my professional editing skills. I will finish writing the second draft of a novel by March with this discipline, and plan to keep the weekends free for meaningful writing projects after this. This way, while I continue to hone my professional skills as an editor, I continue to improve my skills as a writer. There is personal value in this for me, but from a professional standpoint, becoming a better writer makes me a better editor as well, because I believe that one necessary quality of a good editor is the ability to empathize with the writers I work with.

Many writers make finishing their book their resolution for a new year. While this is good, it can sometimes be a trap because it’s a goal, and not necessarily the definition of a solid process by which that goal will be attainable. So instead of saying, “I want to finish my book this year,” try exploring answers to the question, “If I want to finish my book this year, then what regular discipline will I try in order to do this?”

Be experimental! Some writers must write every day. Some writers set weekly milestones (myself included with my weekend routine). I didn’t arrive at my routine until after I tried writing every day, writing in bursts, then finally separating work weekdays from writing weekends and realizing that was just right for me.

In answering the question on HOW you are going to create a regular writing practice through which you will get your novel written, you might notice a shift away from finishing your novel. You might realize that, when you begin a regular writing discipline, you’re on your way to getting your novel done, but guess what? That’s just a milestone, a midpoint on a bigger journey.

For 2017, see if you can find the writing discipline that will not only help you finish your novel, but kickstart a writing habit that will be the cornerstone of your writing career.

Are you inspired? Would you like to tell me your specific goals for 2017 and your plan for how to build a sustainable writing habit? Or do you already have a discipline and want to share about it?

I’d love to hear from you!

If you want to receive more of these kinds of inspiring posts on writing, editing, and productivity and wellness practices for writers, sign up for my weekly newsletter with Story Perfect Editing Services, here.

 

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About John Robin

John Robin is an epic fantasy writer, professional editor, and lover of imaginary worlds. He write stories about magic and myth, human suffering and the power to rise above it. He loves world building, coffee shops, mathematics, chess, and is an avid author community builder.
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2 Responses to Writing Away the Winter Blues

  1. It’s long been my intention to write the first three books in my fantasy steampunk series before considering publication. The first is drafted and well on its way through the revision process. The second was drafted last November. Aside from scrapping the original opening and replacing it, I haven’t done more work on it. The third remains little more than a few key scenes and a vague ending. This year I want to move Bk1 and Bk2 ahead, which should bring Bk3 into clearer focus so I can draft it. Some of this sounds vague, but I have a good handle on where I am and where I want to get to from a percentage perspective.

    Writing regularly was always a goal of mine. Breaks too often rendered the writing brain cold and dormant, requiring a reboot that cost me time. That might be my greatest success story for 2016. I’ve written or revised everyday since late March. Part of making it a habit is making it a priority.

    • John Robin says:

      Thanks for this comment and great to see you here Christina (and welcome back to a past Author Journeys guest).

      I totally relate on how breaks just stall the train — in fact I feel it’s a bit like moving a train: momentum builds and there’s lots of clunking and creaking and lethargic bursts, but once you get moving you get moving; don’t stop! Hope you get your process chugging in 2017. Keep us posted here!

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