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Forcing yourself to write

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Writing a good story is hard and time-consuming. It’s difficult to force yourself to write some—or most—days. It’s okay, because like they say, it doesn’t matter how slow you’re moving as long as you’re not standing still.

One of the keys to making a story happen is to not give up on it. Even if you write a paragraph a day, you’re still making progress, however slow it may be. It’s easy to get caught up in editing instead of writing new material. However, if you continually edit what you already have, all you’ll end up with is a very well-edited half-story.

There are several resources out there to help you focus on writing and making it a priority. One website, Write or Die, forces you to write continuously for a certain amount of time…or it starts deleting what you’ve written. You can set how long you want to write, how forgiving you want the program to be (the higher levels of intensity give you less time to pause before it starts deleting your writing), and set a word count goal for yourself. Don’t worry, it doesn’t delete what you’ve written if you don’t meet your word goal.

Another good resource for people wanting to write a full-length novel is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). During the month of November every year, people from all over the globe work on a novel with a goal of 50,000 words. The website has a place for you to track your progress and gives you daily word count goals. It’s not necessary to sign up on the site for you to participate in NaNoWriMo, but if you do, you gain access to a vast community of writers who are there to support you as you work on your novel. There are also local events held during the month so you can connect with other writers in your region.

If you’re not wanting to work on anything huge at the moment, but you still want to keep your writing skills sharp, check out the book The 3 a.m. Epiphany by Brian Kitely. It’s full of writing exercises to help you hone your fiction-writing skills and has appendices in the back full of writing advice.

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