Write Like It’s Your Job

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Even if you have a full-time job, setting aside time to write each day is crucial to your success. Set a time that works best, after the kids are in bed or early in the morning before work. Stick to it and give yourself a word count or page count goal.

I add an event to my Google calendar and block out 9:30 pm to 10:30 pm for writing every day. I aim for 500 words per session. I don’t try to make the writing impeccable or polished, I just write. Renowned writers like Stephen King and Anne Rice agree with this. When you are writing a draft, the goal is to just get words on the paper or screen. Don’t worry about grammar or misspellings; just write. Once you have the bones down for your story, you can go back and start the wonderful process of writing. This is where the magic happens, this is not to discount the first draft process however, without that foundation, you couldn’t build your house of words.

Often times, I will write a sentence that I’m not entirely happy with. Years ago, I would agonize over the sentence and wouldn’t move on till it was “right”. This consumed a lot of time and would get me behind schedule. After reading about famous writers telling up-and-coming writers to get words on the page, even if it was lousy, I decided to change tack. After writing lousy lines of story or copy, I would carefully focus on each word of text. Somehow, better words popped into my head. Sometimes a word or two was replaced or removed, sometimes whole sentences and paragraphs were completely re-written.

There is no right way to write, or maybe I should say there is no write way to write? Do what works for you. I know editing while writing caused me a lot of anxiety and a lot of unfinished stories. Once I told myself to write forward and keep writing, no looking back, not only did it help me push out more content but improved my writing. I began to write better drafts because they were free of inhibitions I harbored in the beginning because of wanting to get it right. As they say, writing is like working a muscle, the more you do, the better you get. So, write like it’s your job and write like it’s a workout, the message remains the same: work.

Published by Jackqueline Lou

Writing is in my bones. I discovered this at a young age but I didn't harness this skill till I was in my late 20s. I am the mother to one wild but affectionate 6-year-old named Kai. We live with a black cat named Starry who acts like a dog. I work as a copywriter for an electronics company and moonlight as a novelist. Thanks for visiting!

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