It’s the last Friday in the month, so as usual, I’m inviting you to reflect on the past month.
What strategies worked for you in June? Which plans did you have to revise? What victories can you celebrate?
If you are in the mood for even more reflection, feel free to revisit the full list of questions from this post.
Now that you have a clear understanding of how things went in June, let’s look ahead to July!
July Writing Plans
Personally, I will be revising my novel so most of my new writing will be related to that but I will also do blog posts and some writing prompts as warm-ups.
How about you?
Please don’t take this as a suggestion that you *need* to take on a new project or expand the scope of a current one. This is YOUR writing and you are in charge.
You can add a new project, you can keep following your existing course, or you can take a break. It’s all up to you and your capacity this month.
But it is a good idea to decide one way or another so you can find some ease in your choice.
In the past, I’ve *accidentally* taken a break when life got too hectic or when I just couldn’t focus on my writing but the time away wasn’t restful because I kept feeling like I should be writing. The times when I have consciously chosen to take a break, I wasn’t plagued by the shoulds and I enjoyed my time away far more.
After you have figured out your plans for July, perhaps you’d like to think about your approach for the month ahead.
For June, I suggested that you find ways to create more ‘ideal’ writing conditions for yourself. In July, I’d like you to consider seeking more writing joys.
Finding Your Writing Joys
While writing has its challenges, none of us would have chosen to write if we didn’t enjoy at least some parts of the process. For the next month, I’m inviting you to consider ways to incorporate more joy into your writing practice.
I always find it easier to think about these sorts of things when I have a set of questions to answer, so I thought I would jot down a few for you to mull over.
What draws you to writing?
What makes you want to write?
Why did you start writing in the first place?
What parts of writing make you feel excited about your project?
Which parts of the process do you most look forward to?
What’s easy for you (or at least easiest) about your writing?
Putting More Joy Into Your Practice
Once you have considered the parts of your process that bring you the most joy, you can give some thought to how to make the most of those joys.
Personally, I like to write new drafts. No planning, no outlining, I just love just coming up with an idea and seeing where it takes me.
Writing without a plan is a great way for me to get my ideas out and that’s definitely joyful. However, when I write like that, I tend to overwrite and then revision (my most challenging part of writing) is even harder.
Knowing that revision lay ahead was tempering my joy in writing but then I figured out how to balance the two.
If I create a limited outline before I let my thoughts gallop off into a first draft, I can keep the joy of a new draft while reducing the pain of revision.
Writing someone’s inner monologue (or creating dialogue between two characters) is another of my writing joys. (I could write the back-and-forth of two people talking about nothing forever.) But I found that being aware of the need to revise was causing me to lose the fun of that process as well. So I changed when I used my monologuing/dialoguing skills.
Now, I often use that writing as a form of brainstorming. Since I won’t be using that writing in my draft, it won’t need revision. That means I can have a lot more fun with letting people ramble to my heart’s content. If I do come up with some phrasing that works, I can just take that small piece.
Making those changes in my approach helped me to maximize the joyful parts of my writing. And I did it without adding to the parts that are less fun for me.
Congratulations on your writing efforts in June! Whether you wrote 10 words or 10,000 words, or if this was just a time to come up with ideas, or to rest your brain, you have something to celebrate!
I hope you can find a way to make the most of your writing joys in July.
Christine Hennebury’s storytelling career began when she was four and her parents didn’t believe her tale about water shooting out of her nose onto the couch – they insisted that she had spilled bubble solution from the empty jar in her hand. Luckily, her skills have improved since then. Christine makes up stories, shares stories, and coaches other people who are working on stories, in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Find out more about her at christinehennebury.com