A Trio of Tips to Make the Words Flow

You know the deal, writers are like Doug from Up, we’re easily distracted. But there comes a time when, if we want to keep calling ourselves writers, we actually need to write. So here are three little tricks that help me get the words on the page.

Set a deadline: I’m a deadline girl. I once wrote a seventeen page paper in eight hours and still earned a B (I was upgraded from a B- due to a well-placed Jesus joke-yeah, it was that good). I’m way past my all-nighter phase, but I do need that end-date. Once I see the length of the tunnel, I can break the work into doable chunks. For example, I decided I would finish my most recent revision by Thanksgiving, and I scheduled myself to revise three chapters a day. Voila, revision done in time for Thanksgiving. Without the looming date, there is no urgency, no need to write the words. But with the date, I’ll work late, wake up early, and bring my laptop everywhere.

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Make it public: I’ve learned that if I make my goals public, I’m more likely to accomplish them. Using this concept, I’ve trained for a 5k and finished my first novel. The threat of failing in the public eye keeps me working toward my goal. Even if it’s just a Twitter post saying I’m knocking out two thousand words, making a public declaration almost guarantees I’ll accomplish it.

Have people waiting for it: This works in tandem with making it public. I have good friends and beta readers who ask about how the writing is going and when it will be done. Knowing that these lovely folks want to read my words makes me want to write them. And their friendly nagging encourages me to work faster rather than fritter my days away. The added bonus of these folks is they cheer you on when you have the dark days. They believe in you when you can’t believe in yourself.

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So, dear reader, those are a few tricks I use to keep the words flowing. What are yours?

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Amy Reichert

Amy E. Reichert is the author of THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE (Simon & Schuster/Gallery, July 21 2015), about food, love, and second chances, and where serendipity comes in the form of a delicious coconut cake. Find out more at amyereichert.com.

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