It’s a pleasure to welcome romance author Kim Hotzon today, as she offers her tried and true advice for boosting writing productivity. Kim’s also sharing more about her book, Hands Full of Ashes, which she was inspired to write during a trip to Africa. Without further ado, let’s hear some more from Kim…
Let’s face it. Writers are always writing, and when they’re not, they’re thinking about writing. So I have compiled some ideas for you here which will hopefully give you some inspiration the next time you sit down and write.
1. Plan ahead
We all know there is never enough time, but if you have a clear idea of what you are going to write about each time you sit down, you will get more written than if you were to sit down and spend precious time scrolling through your document, wondering where to begin. Get organized by researching today, writing a bit tomorrow, etc. For example, you may want to spend Monday drafting the main characters, and Tuesday writing the opening chapter. Or you may be further along and you want to spend an afternoon working on a particular scene or a section of dialogue. It helps reduce the amount of time wasted writing things you may not be ready to.
2. Schedule a Time and Place
Just like a real date. Set a time and place that is preferable to getting your writing done. Not at the kitchen table at 6:00 p.m. Maybe after the kids are in bed, or perhaps you have a nice desk (de-cluttered). I have sometimes gone to a friend’s house, library or even outdoors to a quiet park if it’s weather conducive. I simply know that I can’t write unless my environment is calm. I know many writers who only write in the middle of the night, when inspiration strikes. If that works for you, go for it! Other writers rise at the crack of dawn and are ready to go before the birds are. We all feel our best at different times of the day. If you are not a morning person, and afternoons are your thing, try to find time during your lunch break to do some writing. What matters is finding the right time for you and carving that time into your schedule.
3.Write first. Edit Second
Many writers slow down the writing process by worrying over every single typo, word repetition, or grammar construction. Just start writing that rough draft. You know you will be cleaning it up later. Sometimes thoughts flow more creatively if you are less worried about initial mistakes. The important thing is getting something written.
4. Create a character description sheet
As you become consumed with plot twists and character development, it helps to have the character’s descriptions written in a handy place. That way you are not scrambling to remember if Jenny had blue eyes or green eyes or met Mike at the coffee shop or somewhere else. A brief outline is all you need.
5. Set a deadline
Do you want to write a chapter this afternoon, or this week? Keeping a deadline helps keep you focused. It is often easier to write with a clear end-goal in mind, especially in the short term. This ties in with planning ahead. If you know what you want to write, when you are going to do that and you have allotted a time frame for completing that, you are organized and you will be more productive.
6. Take advantage of apps
Nowadays, writers are finding all kinds of clever apps that help writers stay calm, focused and organized! Some examples include:
Evernote – helps keep track of your blog notes, a good place to ‘dump’ all those wonderful ideas you have for your story or your blog.
Write Monkey – enables you to use keyboard shortcuts, putting the mouse aside.
WriteRoom – provides safe and reliable back-up for your files.
These are just a few of the available apps that you can find online. There are many more. The point is, some apps serve a useful purpose in organizing your files and streamlining the process. Just don’t spend days searching for apps. Pick one or two, try them out and get started.
7. Focus on writing one thing at a time
Like a chapter, or an opening or end scene. Don’t worry about everything at once. Things will come together, but honing in on one essential piece of your writing or section of your story helps focus the direction of your writing.
These are just some ideas to get started and become more organized. You will discover your own methods in time. The key is to be, and stay, organized. I wish you the best on your writing journey!More About Kim…
Born in beautiful British Columbia, Kim developed a passion for writing at an early age. Her interest in people led her all over the globe, including a two year stay in Japan and a humanitarian trip to Rwanda.
She loves to write romance stories with a twist, usually involving a dangerous and dramatic backdrop. Her first novel, Hands Full of Ashes, was inspired by her trip to Africa.
Kim spent many years teaching young adults with learning disabilities at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and she currently resides in the sunny Okanagan with her husband and two children. When not writing, she can be found plying the local ski hills, or getting lost in her kayak in the surrounding lakes.
Olivia promises to fulfill her dying husband’s wish – to scatter his ashes around the world. Wading through grief and depression, she journeys to a remote orphanage in Uganda. Living amongst the children in their threadbare surroundings, she vows to fight for the children’s lives as she begins to fight for her own. While Olivia develops a passion for humanitarian work, the lonely director of the orphanage develops a simmering passion for her.
Just as time begins to heal the wounds of her heart, Olivia learns the truth of her husband’s unimaginable betrayal. She flees to the tiny country of Rwanda where her soul is reawakened with a startling new love. Olivia realizes that love always comes with a price when she is faced with a decision she thought she would never have to make.
Surrounded by the rugged beauty of Africa, Olivia is determined to find true love while learning how to survive in a region left torn apart by civil war.
Connect with Kim…
You can get in touch with Kim by visiting her website http://www.kimhotzon.com/ or follow her on: