Hey there fellow writers! With all the fear and anxiety surrounding COVID-19 and social distancing, I know that it can hit creatives and their creativity levels. It’s definitely hit me! I’ve had difficulty with my focus, and I just stared blankly at my screen, my manuscript the other day. No added words, not even a bit of editing. So I figured, if you’re like me — a notorious planner with tons of to-do lists etc. — then maybe some direction might be beneficial lol
Self-discipline and Schedule
If you’re like me, you have a million thoughts cycling through your head constantly. And so, there’s extra special magic in planners. Especially planners with stickers and colors and blocks for things like To Do, Don’t Forget, and for my fellow bookwyrms, To Be Read. After looking through the past few months of my own planner, I realize I haven’t scheduled out time for writing. I’ve been operating on my mood and random spurts of energy. NO MORE! During this quarantine, I pledge to schedule out time everyday.
Find a Writer Buddy!
This is something I’ve sort of put off. I have a few writer friends and have been a beta reader for a few of them as well. But, I don’t have my own writer accountability partner that I can message daily when I feel like I have an energy spurt or who encourages me when I don’t feel like writing. And beyond that, I have been keeping my manuscript so top secret when I know it needs a set of fresh eyes. So, if you’re like me, I absolutely encourage you to find a writer buddy. They make the solitude of writing feel more communal. I already have someone in mind, and I plan on reaching out to her today. Let’s Do This!
Spend time with your Characters and focus on Character Development
I have said this time and time again, I love character-driven stories. Therefore, spending time creating characters and developing their story arc is very important to me. However, I’ve realized that a number of my characters—main and side characters alike— are two-dimensional and flat. If you feel like you don’t remember things like what makes your MC, or SC tick. Or if you’re writing dialogue and you can’t definitively say “Yeah that’s something he/she/they would say.” Then I hate to break it to you, but you (like me) need to spend more time with your characters. Make this a priority for your writing and trust me your story will drastically change.
Asses your Plot and potential Plot Holes
And finally, my plot for my manuscript has been through a million hurdles. I’ve had plot holes pop up so frequently that I felt like completely giving up on continuing. However, I’m taking time during quarantine to properly plot! And to locate plot holes and fix them. Sometimes plots change. Or something that you think is a major plot point actually works better as sub plot. Take time to figure out and asses what you need to change or improve on.
There you have it! The four directives I’m focusing on during this quarantine. Will you be joining me?