Welcome to this lesson of David Kummer’s writing course. That’s me, by the way. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, success stories, or just something fun to say, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to talk about anything and everything, especially if that everything has to do with books, basketball, or Chinese food. I am a teenager, after all. So that’s that! Head on down and read what might be the best writing course of your life, but also might be the worst You won’t know until you try!
Section 3: How to do the Writing
A book is a challenge for everyone. But challenges can be overcome.
Welcome to Part 3 of my writing course! Over the last 5 lessons, we talked about the different parts of a book, and why each and every one is important. But what good does that do if you can’t motivate yourself to write the parts?
Well, that’s where this part comes in. I’ll give you tips on writing, how to keep yourself motivated, and if you follow them then hopefully the task of writing will come a lot easier to you.
Let’s not waste any time. Get down to business, now, ya’ll.
First of all, let’s lay something down. Writing is hard. It’s difficult. It takes work, and it is work. You won’t always wanna do it. For some of you, you won’t want to do it most of the time.
So ask yourself a question. Are you dedicated to this? Are you willing to work? Is this something you want to spend time on and do?
The answer is yes. I know this because you’re taking this writing course. However you stumbled upon it, you’ve gotten to this part, to this lesson. And that shows you want this, and you want to work on this.
So you’re an author. You’re a writer. Even if you haven’t written a word yet, you’re an author. Don’t be ashamed to tell people that. I was, for a long, long time. People would ask, “What are your hobbies? What do you wanna be when you grow up?” and I’d just avoid the question when I should have said, “I’m already an author. And I write.”
You’re an author. You write. So let’s write!
There’s one HUGE thing that makes writing easier, and that’s making it a HABIT. (H and H, you see?)
It doesn’t take much to form a habit. Just finding a time of day is a good start. For me, I write in the evening and into the night. This is because it works well with my school and basketball schedule.
Take a moment to think about your own schedule. Where could you write? What time of day? If you’re having trouble finding gaps, then think about what you could cut out. Could you type some instead of watching that TV show? Or instead of taking that nap?
Yet another alternative is to split up your writing time. If you can’t write in a big chunk of two hours, then do a pair of one-hour sessions. One in the morning, one at night? Two other times? Lunch break and after work?
My point is that anybody can find time to write. You might have to give up things or shift things, but it’s all worth it in the end.
How do we measure the progress in your writing, though? How do we decide how long your sessions will be? What do we judge by?
Well, there are two main ways. First, you can go by words. Second, you go by time.
For instance, if you’re going by words, you would sit down and say, “I’m gonna write 1,000 words.” That sounds like a lot but really isn’t. This lesson is probably 1,500 or 2,000. Once you finish with those 1,000, you put the computer/notebook/stone tablet down and walk away. (Some people write until they can’t anymore, but I’ll tell you why this is bad in the next lesson.)
The other method is by time, which is pretty easy. You sit down, set your clock for half an hour or however long you have to spare, and then you get going. Once your time is up, you quit.
I do a little bit of both when I write. Sometimes I’ll go until I finish a chapter, sometimes I’ll set a timer, and sometimes I go until I get so many words. Do whatever is comfortable for you. The most important thing is that you’re getting words on paper (or stone tablets).
So there’s some help to make your writing a habit.
The other way is to find a spot to do it. For me, I go sit on a couch in the living room. Whatever works for you, though.
Now, if you’re trying to cram your writing into your day this won’t help as much. But there are little things you can do. Listen to certain music while you type, chew a certain type of gum, lots of stuff. If you do things the same while you write, it will seem familiar each time you go back and will become a habit.
So to make it a habit, you find a time and you find a place. If you can’t find a place, then make each writing session as similar as possible.
The number one goal in all of this is to get some words down. If you’re doing that, you’re great.
In the next lesson, we’ll go over another tip and talk about why writing until you can’t anymore is a bad, bad thing!
Find links to the past 5 lessons here.