I’ve been a self-employed writer and journalist for going on two years and there is definitely a learning curve when it comes to treating the home like the office. Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve developed over my career to ensure maximum productivity, even if your desk is an ironing board.
Writing is hard. On the best of days, when the phone doesn’t ring and the dog doesn’t bark and your other jobs or school work or family obligations remain mercifully quiet, writing is still a challenge. And the truth is, most days aren’t going to be like that.
To be an editor, you have to sense when phrases don’t sound right. We must be self-editing and rewriting all the time to create the best product possible. Here are a few ways to manage the editing process, so you can achieve the best final piece.
They’re all right. Every single person who told you that writing was going to be full of obstacles and challenges and rejections, every single one of them is right. Writing is hard and you should be able to fall back on other skills, and yeah, you probably will be broke, at least for a while. But the truth of it is, writing – the whole writing process – that’s the easiest part.
Cities do not speak. Beaches do not dance. Mountain ranges do not dream. Places are not, intrinsically, human. The humanity we derive from them is based in our own perception, the sights, sounds and smells that form a location or environment in our mind. There is no natural anthropomorphism to a place, and that is why it is so important that we put it there.
From the outside, writing doesn’t look too hard. After all, I spent eight to ten hours a day on my computer, doing the thing I love most in the world. What could be difficult about that? I get to research unique and interesting things, and tell the stories that I want to tell. It’s the dream job. And it is the dream job, but it’s sure as hell not an easy one.
But despite all those things people tend to say about romance, reading it has made me a fundamentally better author, both in and out of the genre. These books are often escapist and fantastical, yes, but I have taken many important writing skills and themes away from them. Here are just a few.
If you do find yourself in the midst of more than one long-term project at a time, here are a few tips and tricks for keeping all the books in the air.
It’s not glamorous, not yet. I work too hard and I’m stressed about deadlines, but I don’t go into an office, I don’t dress up every day, I don’t have a thankless position somewhere. I’m my own boss, I set my own office hours and I write for a living.
National Novel Writing Month isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Here are a few things I both learned and re-learned during this year’s challenge.