Writing Advice of the Week: Done? Start the Next One

Reading Time: 9 minutes
(Image by Fallon Clark via Adobe Firefly.)

We all have our methods for generating ideas. Whether by creating inspiration boards, scrawling notes on scrap paper, leveraging writing prompts, using AI generators, or other methods, writers get through stories. I, myself, draw tarot cards to awaken the gray matter.

One piece is done? Onto the next one. Working hard is part of any success journey, and avoiding complacency — continuing to push forward, hitting goals for project after project — is key.

I like to have a few writing ideas lined up, a few options to choose from, for when I’m ready to start a new piece. But pushing forward in this way doesn’t always come easy; it takes but one slow day to miss that flow state.

This week’s writing advice included two pieces about finding inspiration using things you already have (or have access to) at home: reading and music.

Kim Bullock for Writer Unboxed writes, The Reading-Writing Connection: How Mixing It Up Can Supercharge Your Work. This article will be especially helpful if reading for inspiration or discovering comp titles has become more of a chore than a leisure activity.

Like many writers, I’ve also had periods of reading burnout, and the best way to renew my interest is in variation, which also helps me keep a steady tap of ideas. As a literary omnivore, I frequently bounce between fiction, nonfiction, and memoir — even text books — to refresh my book palate and keep things interesting. And I’ve brought home books from the library that my five-year-old picked for me. So if you’re in a reading rut, switch it up, see what burbles to the surface.

If not reading, maybe you’re wondering how to include rhythm and movement into your process. I like practicing with a drum pad. Matt Frick, too, likes tunes in How I Use Soundtracks To Help Me Write When I’m Not Writing for A Writer’s Path. Using tunes can help in finding the shape and pace of stories and other pieces, can help a writer string together a cohesive and meaningful plotline. Which makes sense, given that music is one of the oldest forms of communication and storytelling.

Now, I love a good short story. And this week, Mark Desvaux invited Karen Storey for a talk on How To Become A Short Story Superstar for The Bestseller Experiment. Karen has found a way to churn out an awe-inspiring word count on a regular basis with great success. Listen in to hear about her process and what keeps her moving day after day.

If you’re waiting for the day you achieve success in your writing, check out The 3 Best Writing Tips I’ve Gotten From Masters, And The 4 Best Writing Tips I’ve Given by Peter Blauner for Writer’s Digest. The article has a little craft, a little process, a little motivation, and some social support. So, make sure you’re giving yourself the tools you need for success.

One of the first choices you’ll make when starting a story is perspective. When writing a deep and immersive point of view, sensory details help ground the reader. Making The Most Of Sensory Detail In Deep POV by Lisa Hall-Wilson is worth a read if you’re writing in a deep point of view with a unique perspective. Getting the character involved in and experiencing their world allows the reader do the same.

When you’re examining scenes and looking for those key sensory details your character would notice, remember that deep POV means your character is the storyteller. What do they see? How do they respond? What happens?

At one point in my writerly life, I didn’t know when “done” was. This obviously caused some issues with project completion, and I ruined a few stories by over-working them. Thankfully, those days have passed. This week, I received a hard copy proof of my coming booklet on point of view. If you’re struggling to define “done” so you can move past a piece, check out How Does A Writer Really Know When Their Manuscript Is Ready? by Mary Kole for Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

And, of course, when one piece of writing is done, it’s time to move onto the next one. So, grab your tarot deck, writing prompt of the day, or whatever method you use, and get back to it.

Until next week,

Happy writing!

Maria collects more advice links each week than I can possibly share in a single writing advice article, so be sure to check out the overflow if you need something I didn’t include.

What was your favorite piece of advice for this week? Leave a comment below.

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Fallon Clark is a Vermont-based manuscript development coach and editor serving fiction and creative non-fiction authors. Her writing has been published in Flash Fiction Magazine. Check out her website, FallonEdits.com, or connect with her on LinkedIn or Substack.

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