As an indie author treating writing as a business, it’s important to stay on top of deadlines and to always work on improving your craft.
Organizing Your Time
To that end, Duolit has provided a helpful free monthly planner for authors. The idea is that to-do lists can be too daunting, and if you schedule activities in your calendar you will actually get more done. The planner has you choose a focus for the month. For example, building a website, writing, planning promotions, etc.
Of course, writing (arguably) the most important activity you can do as an indie author. So you want to make sure you spend some time each day writing. Monica Leonelle gives some great advice on how to write more. In addition to using dictation software, she advocates making a small to-do list for the day (so it can complement your calendar), where you fill in things to do for a two hour chunk of the day, three 25-minute sessions, and five five-minute tasks. I haven’t tried this method yet, but I can see how it would be satisfying to do.
Shelley Hitz also advocates scheduling your writing time as a way to improve.
Improving Your Writing
Yes, the more you write, the better your writing will become. But it’s also good to figure out what makes writing good, and how you can improve your skills. Forbes recommends three books that will help with just that, including The Sense of Style and The Getaway Car. Sounds intriguing, especially for books on writing.
Writing flash fiction can also improve your writing as a whole, according to Kate Tilton. This is because in flash fiction, you have to make every word count.
According to Brain Pickings, great storytellers must have three qualities: magic, story, and lesson. And R.S. Mollison-Read wrote about two other essential writer skills: imagination and analysis.
Live Write Thrive provides a 10-item checklist of questions to ask about your story. Questions include character reactions, what the conflict is, and what the point of the scene is.
And The Book Designer talks about joining writer groups to help you write, and also promote your book. The article also provides a long list of groups you can join.
And last, if you’re looking for some inspiration, Writers Unplugged shares 21 quotes for novelists. Here’s my favorite:
“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” ~ Beatrix Potter
This post was originally published on May 5, 2016.