Improving my Writing

As I kick off this new blog, I’ll be doing a sort of archive of posts from Pink and Blue Mummyland. Throwback Thursday will be a migration of sorts, re-sharing posts from years past.

A few months ago I read a article shared in a Facebook writers group I’m in, about increasing word count (in the writer’s case from about 2k to 10k a day). I’ve found Rachel Aaron‘s methods useful, but I’ve also been encouraged to look at what adds to my own writing process – not just what I write, but how I write.

The article got me thinking not just about how I can increase my productivity, but about how I can be obedient by writing.Here’s are the things I’ve come up with that improve my work – in both volume and quality.

Coffee

We all laugh, don’t we, at the stereotypical pictures of writers drinking copious amounts of coffee to meet a deadline. But for me, coffee denotes something else. My first cup of coffee marks the start of my writing time as apart from everything else. Not only does it demarcate that time from the rest of my life, but it affords me the time to formulate my plan for that session. I count it as the first cup of coffee one might get at an office before sitting down at a desk to work.

Paper

When it comes to writing I, like most, need my laptop to get things into a shape for other people. That said, before I even go near my keyboard, I write down in a notebook exactly what it is I’m planning on writing. For me, there is nothing to replace sitting with a mechanical pencil and A5 lined paper (yes, I’m picky!) and setting out what I’m aiming to achieve that session. With an outline beside me, not only do I waste far less time, but I also have a way to quickly scribble the random ideas that seem to come out of nowhere!

Noise

Like Rachel, I too took a quantitative look at my writing output, noting where and when I was writing alongside how much I got done. What I found surprised me – my most productive times were actually in noisy places. The background humdrum of cafes seems to work particularly well (and aid the coffee requirement above!), and being out and about actually offers less in the way of distraction – being a full-time stay at home mum means that there is always work to do, and it never takes much to be side tracked by all the many things that need doing in a house.

Prayer

Prayer is the fourth, final, and most important key to my writing. “Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love,” wrote Frances Ridley Havergal. It’s a hymn I love, and I have taken to saying it before I start writing anything. I use my hands for note taking, for typing, even for tapping on the table as I try to find exactly the right word for something, and I want God not just to be in the final product for people to read, but to bless me as I seek to worship him by writing.From a faith perspective, I consider my writing as an act of worship, and I want to use not only my gifts but my time wisely.

I wonder, if asked to pick four things, what would yours be?

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