The Writer’s Personal Toolkit

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I’ve been thinking about the common things that each of us brings to our writing. These are the things that I am grateful to have in my life and each one helps me be a better writer. These things make up my personal writing toolkit.

Love of Reading – I don’t personally know any writers who don’t love to read. Maybe some don’t read as much as they would like, but they do love reading. Reading is another way to grow and learn. During the last couple of years I’ve included reading goals along with my writing goals.

Imagination – I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of imagination and how and why this works. For me, this is the magical part of my life and I try to stay connected every day to my imagination.

Curiosity – Curiosity is a cousin to imagination. My curiosity leads me to places I might not have otherwise journeyed, either in my physical life or in my mind and soul’s journey. It’s that spark that makes me love learning and makes researching fun instead of a chore.

Experience – My life’s experience is the foundation of everything I know and the alpha point of my writing. Every aspect of writing from characters, plotting, setting, and the finite details of description are born out of my day-to-day experiences (and yes, enhanced through my imagination).

Motivation/Will Power – I have the desire to move forward with my writing, the motivation to continue along this path that is self-fulfilling, and I have the will power to sustain me along the way.

Understanding of Self – My inner search of who I am and why I am who I am leads me to a better understand of all those around me. As I come to know ME at the deepest levels, I know others and this allows me to write characters that readers WANT to know through their stories.

Language – I’m blessed with feeling the words I weave together to come out the other end (through the mind and hearts of the readers) like notes are to a symphony.

Persistence – At some deep level, I KNOW that I cannot and do not want to move from the path that I’m on, that I will do whatever it takes to get my stories out to my readers. I keep on keeping on….

Belief – I believe in ME. I believe in myself as a writer, teacher, and coach.

Goals – I can set goals for myself and for my writing journey. I am the mistress of my plans.

Priorities – A close relative to goals, they work together in deciding what is most important to me and being able to make decisions that will move me forward on my life journey.

Time – I have all the time in the universe for what is most important to me. Along with my goals and priorities, time is my FRIEND.

Writing Group – I’m blessed to be part of a wise group of friends who make up my writing group, Artistic License. These writers are one of the constants in my life. They are more than friends; they are family. The support, comfort, understanding, and pushing is exactly what I need.

After looking over this list of tools that I can access at any time, I am reminded how truly I am blessed.

Question for today: What would you include in your own personal writing toolkit?

Best Wishes,

June

Why Write?

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I write to create. Often creating in this way means that I might start with nothing or with very little. Maybe I have an idea for a story or a character who is begging to be included in a story. Writing is a passion that moves me to action.

Out of these specks, characters become real to me, with lives that point to a future, pasts full of experiences, and a full range of emotions.

The story takes me on a journey into a somewhat alternative reality of what might happen based on the initial idea or character.

Writing, for me, is making magic….Like the alchemist trying to turn metal into gold, I use words to make a movie in the reader’s mind.

The turn of a phrase, how I string my words, thoughts, ideas, and emotions come together to create something unique. Something of my own. Part of this process of creation and creating.

Yes, I write for the reader as I want him or her to live through every nuance of what my character is experiencing, but that has to come out of the depths of writing for ME.

Writing, building worlds (or universes, even), creating characters, plotting stories, and all the rest that this entails is like being my own boss, having my own business, being the goddess of that alternative reality. Writing fills a hole in the center of my being.

I will fade away with time, but the words that I put on the pages, those words that become characters and worlds, will live far beyond me.

Yes, writing is magical. Fun. Exciting. Creative work that I hope to enjoy for a long time.

Question for today: Why is writing important to you?

Best Wishes,

June

Time to Write!

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We’ve all said at one time or another – I wish I had more time to <fill in the blank>.

Maybe the problem isn’t “time” but – priorities. Do I care enough about my fiction writing to put it higher on my priority list? Yes, I love teaching, editing, coaching, facilitating workshops and all the other ways I work with writers. BUT I also cherish my own writing time. Or, rather, I SHOULD.

Here’s my strategy:

I tend to do most of my writing on the weekends, along with editing, teaching/mentoring, coaching, and developing workshops and other classes. My writing usually gets squeezed around doing these other things. I’ve decided to refocus my thinking. If I’m going to complete the numerous novels I’ve started, I need more time and my writing needs to be higher on my priority list.

My plan is to take two solid hours in the morning when I first get up for my writing. No editing or doing other work. This is MY time. I’ll also commit to two solid hours every afternoon and another one to two hours at night.

TOTAL: 10 to 12 hours for the weekends

I decided to look at my normal during-the-week day and see where I could find a few minutes here and there to get more writing and writing-related stuff done. Here’s my list:

Waiting for the commuter bus

Waiting on the shuttle to work

Waiting on the commuter bus to go home

Take time after dinner for writing instead of surfing the net.

Take time after an hour of editing for others.

Quit doing work for others at 9 pm and take an hour for my writing.

TOTAL: approximately 2 hours a day or 10-11 hours a week

GRAND TOTAL (per week): 20 to 22 hours a week to work on my writing

Wow! I think I can get a lot of writing and writing-related stuff done in this time. Let’s see how quickly I can get my current novel finished.

NOTE: I hope these figures are accurate! I’m not a math wiz…But you get the point!

Question for today: Where can you use minutes or hours here and there from your day to focus on your writing? Share what you discover!

Best Wishes,

June