December 15, 2011
do something different
Twelve Days of Writing No. 7: Take a break to see other people.
Your love your family and friends, but sometimes you might need a break from them to meet new people or try different things. The same goes with writing. If you feel particularly stuck take a break. Spend some time doing something else. You can still be productive even if you aren't generating words for the current story.
Other ways to be a productive writer:
• Write a stock pile of posts for your blog. That way, when the book writing bug is back you will be able to focus on the story and not have to worry about updating your website.
• Don't have a blog? Start one.
• Write a short story.
• Work on character or story planning for a future project.
• Make revisions on an earlier part of the story (or on another project altogether).
• Find a critique buddy and swap stories. Your friend might be able to give you pointers to rekindle the spark, and you can do the same for him or her.
• Read a book about writing and editing. It will help you build your technique and perhaps inspire you.
• Read any book. Check out what your fellow writers are producing. It will help you understand industry trends.
• Investigate industry trends by reading trade publications. There are all kinds of magazines, papers and blogs out there with information.
• Write your query letter. It might be a little premature, but by writing the query letter now you can gain more insight into the story you're telling. It might give you that spark you need to get back to your story. Also, it's another step down.
All of these activities will keep your mind focused on writing and not let your skills go rusty. However, with any break make sure you don't take too much time apart. Otherwise it's not taking some time apart, it's breaking up.
Giveaway challenge: What other activities can you do to stay focused on productivity while also taking a break from your project?
Answer in the comments below to be entered to win this week's Twelve Days of Writing drawing. Be sure to check back Friday at 2 p.m. CDT to see if you are this week's winner. Read about the contest and what prizes you can win here.