Writerly Round Up: November 2015

Writerly Round Up monthly template (1)Happy November 30th! For many, today is a bittersweet day: the end of NaNoWriMo. Throughout the month, you’ve likely fallen in and out of love with your story a million times, and it’s both relieving and saddening to close the cover on a beloved (though exhausting) 30-day challenge.

We’re here with our monthly round up to help you both celebrate and mourn the end of November with some great articles we spotted across the web this month. So take a breather, do some reading, and set your sights on the road ahead!

Outlining… Or Not: Some Tips For Discovery Writers

Posted by J Young-Ju Harris

With NaNoWriMo officially coming to a close, there are plenty of writers out there who have learned something new about themselves and/or their craft this past month.  For many, that thing is a love for discovery writing. If you’ve found yourself loving the less structured approach these past 30 days, check out J Young-Ju Harris’s tips on discovery writing like a pro!

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals for Writers (and Those Who Love Them)

Posted by Joe Bunting @ The Write Practice

The title says it all! Though Black Friday has passed, there are tons of great writerly deals out there today for Cyber Monday, from cheap e-books and e-readers to discounted writing courses.

The Character Evolution Files, No. 4: The Journey Through the Character Arc, Stage 2 – The Comfort Zone (Act I)

Posted by Sara Letourneau

This month, Sara Letourneau posted part 4 to her wonderful “The Character Evolution Files” series, which explains the various stages of the Character Arc in great detail. Take a look at the series from the first post on—there’s lots to learn, especially if you plan on revamping some of your characters when editing your new novel!


Have you read any great articles this month? Feel free to share them with us!

Don’t Find Time to Write. Make Time.

Don't find time to write... Make time: How to track, identify and make time for your writingA new year, a new start. This is going to be a fantastic year for your writing, you can feel it in the whorls of your ink-stained fingers! You’ve made your resolutions, you want writing to be a big part of your life, and you’re formulating a plan to do it.

When you’re coming up with that master plan though, make one important distinction. Don’t just find time to write in 2014. Make time.

Finding time to write involves seeking out the free moments in your day and giving them over to writing. That in itself isn’t a bad idea, especially if you’re just starting to write. But what if you don’t have any free moments to give over to storytelling? And what if you want more time to write than you have available? That is when you make time.

Track Time

Start by keeping track of your day. Carry a small jotter around with you or take notes on your phone of what you’re doing, when you’re doing it, and how essential the activity is on a scale of 1 (not essential) to 5 (very essential). While things like ‘making dinner’ and ‘having a shower’ might be higher on the scale, activities like watching TV and surfing the Web will be lower.

Identify Time

After a week of tracking your daily activities, look back at what you’ve written down and circle the things you’ve labelled as 1 or 2 on the scale. Could you cut them from your day? If so, this will open up time that you can use for writing. If not, could you cut back on the amount of time you spend on them? For example, if you spend 3 hours watching TV on an evening, could you cut that back to just 1 hour instead?

If you can’t or don’t want to cut back on activities later in the day, consider waking up an hour or two earlier than usual each day and dedicate that time to writing. The #5amWritersClub is a good example of writers making time to write every day. @5amWritersClub hosts word sprints every weekday, so if you want to dedicate a couple of hours to writing, go join them!

Make note of activities spread throughout the day that could be grouped together. For example, if you spend 30 minutes on a morning replying to emails, then another 30 minutes on a night, plus an hour messaging on social media throughout the day, could you group these together so that they’re dealt with all in one go? By grouping similar activities together and putting a time limit on them, you can clear out space throughout the day for other activities.

Make Time

With the free time you’ve created by eliminating and cutting back on inessential activities, you now have much more time available to write!

If you can, set aside the same time each day and make a routine of sitting down to write. Within a few days, you’ll notice the difference it makes to your mood, within a few weeks, you’ll see the improvement in your writing, and by the year’s end, you’ll have achieved the goal you made at the start of 2014: to make writing a part of your life.

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What things have you cut back on to make time for writing?