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Maureen Kauzlarich

Children's Author

Making Headway as a Writer

It’s hard to feel as though you’re doing anything when every day it feels like you’re getting nowhere in your project. Here are some ways to feel accomplishment as a writer even before ever getting published. 

 

Creating Deadlines

Have you ever had to write a paper for school? The teacher probably gave a deadline. If you’re like a lot of people, you wrote the paper right before the deadline and regretted not using your time wisely. An effective way to write a book, for example, is to create a deadline for the different steps and then the final deadline of finishing the book completely. Let’s say you want to get the rough draft done by the end of three months. Break down the weeks leading up to the deadline and divide the word count. Then, give yourself mini-deadlines at the end of every week. You could say how many pages you should have done by the end of the week so that you achieve your ultimate deadline in three months.

 

Checking Progress Regularly

If you look at your work from yesterday, you may feel like nothing’s changed and it pretty much is the same except for more words. This is progress in the making. To feel better about your seemingly small progress, look back at your work a bit farther like a month back. You can do this by keeping a calendar where you write down what you accomplished each day. When you look back, you will see a bigger comparison.

 

Focus on Parts of the Story

One thing that will frustrate any writer is always looking at the big picture of a draft. If you’re always looking at a story as a whole pie it may seem daunting. Cutting it into pieces is much more manageable. If you see that your story is lacking enough details start using that CTRL+F on the keyboard. Focus only on chapters that need details. If you want to bring out a side character more, only scan their name. Force the types of changes you want and then read the whole thing again. Those small, focused details can make the story better as a whole.

 

Beta Readers

Finally, beta readers are a must for a book to sprout and become something amazing. If you’re always editing your book by yourself and never letting anybody read it, there will be so many missed opportunities. Nothing is ever perfect, but if you start to feel like you’ve edited it to the point of over-editing then it’s time to get some other eyes on it. While others are reading you can take a break, and when you get their comments back it’s like looking at your story with a fresh pair of eyes. Reading your book or story through a new perspective will no doubt make you feel like you’re making headway as a writer. In other words, you’re growing and seeing your story shine.

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