Monday, August 15, 2016

3 Tips (And One Hard Truth) To Complete That First Draft


I used to hate these damned first drafts. Few endeavors are more challenging than taking something out of your head and bringing it into the real world.

It hurts.

Every time.

And while it never gets easier (It really should get easier) there are ways to assure you'll complete arguably the most difficult of writing tasks. Here are three tips, and one blunt, hard truth, to help you through.

1). Guard Your Creative Time.
Set aside a certain time each day in which you will write, code, animate, what have you, but block out that part of the day solely to get things done. The main benefit of this is as you make it a habit, your mind will start prepping for the workload in advance.
Do this at the time of day when you're at your best. It's not like anyone is going to see your first draft anyway.

I get up at either four or five in the morning, depending on my day job schedule, so I have at least one hour to be creative. The drawback is that I'm wiped out after work, but there is always forward progress on the book I'm working on.

2). Shut Off Social Media.
Before this comes back to bite me I confess I am a hypocrite! I'm always on twitter when I'm writing so I can powwow with other writers, but Facebook is a damn timesink. Unless you're really good at dividing your attention (and it took me eight years to get this far) shut down all social media. In fact, if you can help it, don't even have a browser open. Eliminate all temptation of distraction so you can be creative. The task is hard enough, and chances are you won't want to do it at first, so don't give yourself any excuses to get out of it.

3). Set Yourself Up For Success.



This is how I like to leave myself set up. The laptop is running, Scrivener is ready to go, and the exact scene I left off on is right in front of me. I don't want to go through any steps to get things ready, or I'll lose motivation.
When you finish for the day, leave yourself set up to get right back to work the next day. By the time you get coffee (or whatever you drink), turn on your computer, open your app, hey, Facebook!

1). The Hard Truth.
When it comes down to it, you either want it, or you don't. We all have obligations. We're all busy. We all struggle for free time. The fact is, being creative will cut into your free time. This either means enough to you for you to pursue it, or it doesn't. You make up your mind to get something done and chances are you can make it happen. But when it comes down to it, you either want to make it happen, or you don't. If you do, you will. If you don't, you'll find excuses not too.

The choice is yours.

Thanks for reading.


Avery K. Tingle is the author of epic dark fantasy Era of the Scourge: Reclamation and scifi/romance the Anniversary. Titles are available on Nook and Kobo too. If you’re new to Kobo, you can get both stories for free!

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