Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Word Witch Wednesday - a bunch of tips for making writing life easier


It's been a while since I've done a writing update. I've been busy working on the first draft of Of Gods and Sorrow, the sequel to Of Blood and Sorrow. It feels fantastic to get back into the world and to be writing a novel again. When I write novellas, I keep everything tight and concise. I don't allow myself to wander. With novels, I feel less constrained.

Writing tip #1: When working on your first draft, don't be afraid to ramble on. Don't let your inner editor chain you down. Anything you don't want can be cut later. You might find you like some of those longer descriptions and extended scenes.

My writing has slowed recently. I've found I can't stare at the screen as long or I'll get headaches. When my critique partners and betas send me their manuscripts, I wondered why they always have their documents zoomed in at like 120% or 150%. I stubbornly put them back to 100% every time. My stubborn self was wrong. Now as I'm writing, I zoom in to 120%, and I get less eye strain and no more headaches.

Writing tip #2: Zooming in with documents does help ease eye strain. It's also important to take regular breaks from the computer and rest your eyes doing something else. Keeping well hydrated will help as well. And those bathroom breaks resulting from that can count as resting your eyes!

Putting your butt in the chair and your hands on the keyboard does get you writing. Yet it doesn't help you get up when you need to later. My body get stiff if I'm lost in my worlds for too long. I'm not as young as I once was.

Writing tip #3: Stretch. I'm not going to tell you to go out and exercise, but stretching your muscles will not only take away your stiffness, it will help the blood get flowing to your beautifully creative mind. I take about 30 to 40 minutes every day just before lunch to stretch and use my little hand weights. It wakes up my body and my afternoon writing session benefits from it.

Writing tip #4: That time as I'm stretching is the only time during my writing work day that I allow myself to turn on the TV or a podcast. Eliminating distractions like that while I'm writing allows me to better concentrate. Plus, it makes for a good motivator to do the stretching if I have a show recorded I want to watch. (Con Man aired on SyFy Channel this past Saturday night. I'm watching that this week as I stretch! Mmm, Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion.)

My writing life changes with each story and every new year. I'm excited to see where it will take me next.

Do you have any writing life tips to share? I'd love to hear them.

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An IWSG reminder:

Be sure when you leave a comment, your profile leads back to your blog. If it links to Google+, make sure you have your blog listed in your ‘About’ section. We encountered a lot of comments that we could not return because that person’s gravatar was not linked to a blog. And since some people comment with a name but it’s their blog name on the IWSG list, that makes it extra challenging. If you’d like your link title modified or changed on the IWSG list, we have set up a IWSG Google Document where you can request that change.

Plus the Show Your Writer Insecurity Contest is October 4, so get those photos ready!

Don't forget we're always excited to celebrate good news with our IWSG members. Email me at christinerains [dot] writer @ gmail [dot] com with your news, and I'll include in the next newsletter.

26 comments:

  1. Hi Christine - great tips ... I certainly need to do more exercise ... but do walk up and down and around Eastbourne ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Walking counts! I still need to do more exercise, but when it's so nice outside, I just want to stroll along.

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  2. Clever idea to zoom in a bit.
    I get up and move often. I stare at a screen all day at work, so I go for short walks to get my body moving.

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  3. I should get up more often and take more breaks. I sometimes forget how long I've been staring at the computer. LOL! And I often wish I could keep the documents at 100%, but it is easier on my eyes at 110% and 120%. That's one reason I like reading on my kindle. I can increase the font size.

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    1. I do that too! Hehehe. 120% works perfect for me. I never thought about doing that on the Kindle. Must try that next time!

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  4. I don't move enough. I need to add stretching as walking is difficult with my back and leg problems. I need to put some thought into my routine.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. I know folks with back problems that really benefited from stretching and light exercise.

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  5. Posture! I'm currently going through physical therapy for my right shoulder because of poor posture while sitting and writing. Don't be like me! Stretching helps, but also be sure your chair and desk are the right heights.

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    1. That was from poor posture? Yikes. My desk and chair are good. I'd like to try a standing desk one day too.

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  6. Excellent tips! I have been having a hard time getting my butt in chair lately but this morning I forced myself to before work and feel so much better about my day already :)

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  7. I always zoom way in, too. LOL! I just looked at my current document and it's zoomed in at 130%. No shame. Haha.

    Stretching helps a lot! It also keeps me from getting exhausted. Every time I wander away from my document I hit save. Anything can happen! Word can freeze. Power outage.

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    1. Oh yes, I hit save a lot as I'm working. We have a transformer in our neighborhood that is real touchy. I never know when the power may blink on and off.

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  8. I write with a size 14 font. I guess that's a bit like zooming in, eh? And stretching is definitely a good tip. I should go do that now.

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  9. I always edit zoomed in, because sometimes I can't see the difference between the full stop and comma, or if I deleted the right letter while using Track Changes. The stretching is a great tip - I tend to jump up and down to get the blood flowing too :-)

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    1. I like that jumping idea. It would really help in the winter when it gets chilly in here.

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  10. Brilliant tips, Christine. I'll defintely use you advice, especially zooming in and the stretching. I'm starting to feel stiff. Happy writing.

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  11. I'm constantly moving around, or working on five things at once, which keeps me from staring at the screen too long. I always increase the screen size when I'm formatting. Helps me find those pesky extra spaces.

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  12. Zooming is a great tip. I find as I get older I definitely need to look at things much closer up.

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  13. I love your tips. I was through my first four novels before I learned to turn off the 'edit as I go' thing. I don't watch a lot of TV, but when I do, I also do things like social media(like right now) so I don't feel guilty for watching.

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  14. Great tips! I struggle with eye strain, too, which is why I like to keep part of my art process traditional, instead of doing everything digitally. Much healthier for my eyes!

    And I absolutely loved Of Blood and Sorrow, so I'm excited that you're working on a sequel. Best of luck with the first draft!

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  15. I freaking spazz out every time you mention working on the sequel to Of Blood and Sorrow.

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  16. That first tip, I'm working on. I tend to summarize rather and go in depth. I'm trying to switch that around!

    And yes, I'm finding I'm upping to 120 too.

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