What is the best way for you to approach your writing time?

I had a great opportunity to do a Facebook Live in the Writers Who Want More Energy To Write Facebook group about how we can customize our approach to writing time based on the 4 writing personalities. 

If you’ve taken the quiz, Does Your Writing Personality Match Your Writing Goals, you’ve identified your personality, with some helpful tips on how to approach your writing time to achieve your goals. If you haven’t taken the quiz, what are you waiting for?

Well, I can’t embed the video because it wasn’t my group, so the next best thing, is the transcript! I go through all 4 writing personalities, with a useful tip for each one. 

This is your chance to check out the other personalities, and get an additional tip or two!

Here we go!

Discover your writing personality (and customize your approach to writing time!)

Hi everyone! I’m so happy to be here. Thank you to Sandra for asking me. Sandra is awesome! Our friendship is a testament to the strength of being a part of a writing community like this group! I met her for the first time, at a writing conference, through a fellow writer friend of ours.

So, a little bit about myself: I am an award winning author. I coach and mentor writers through the process of writing their novel, eliminating their fears, learning to embrace the editing process, and to submit their work to editors and agents, or to publish it themselves, with confidence.

I believe that it is time we stop fearing telling our stories. They need to be told. People need to read them.

Whew, that’s the serious stuff. I’m also an unapologetic sports fan, total nerdy geek-girl, and you know I’ve got to say it, proud dog mom to Ebby, my bichon-toy poodle.

So today I’m going to talk a little bit about what I call the 4 personalities of writers, and how they affect how we approach our writing time.

Writing time is writing time. It isn’t doing your social media or blogging or anything else related to, but not directly writing. Writing and Editing that is.

We’re all busy, life is uncertain, we want to get the most out of the time that we have to focus on our writing goals.

The personalities are the Big Picture writer, the In the zone writer, the selfless writer, and the driven writer.

I’m going to break down each of them, with a little description of each, along with a quick tip on how to best approach your writing time with each personality.

Big Picture Writer

You prefer to see the big picture. Details are not your thing. You’re a visionary or a CEO. You come up with the ideas and let someone else implement them.

You can see it: the cover, the logo of the publisher. You know it is an amazing story. It has already played out in your mind.

You can see the gorgeous cover, the acceptances from the agents and editors pouring in, and the masses of readers you’re going to impact packing out your favorite bookstore to hear you read and tell you how much your book means to them.

When it comes to sitting down to write you see the amount of work you have to do (90,000 words written, the query, the synopsis) on top of everything else, it is overwhelming.

The best way a Big Picture writer can approach their writing time, is to focus on just one thing. Set yourself a daily goal of 500 or 1000 words. If you do more, great. But that is your focus during writing time.

Let me give you an example:

I tend to be a Big Picture writer. When I published my first book, I needed a really really ridiculously detailed checklist to keep me focused

Go onto the internet, look at artists for covers, make a list, contact artist, get contract, sign contract, send back the contract, get first draft of cover, contact editor for timeline. When does the editor need the novel? Oh yeah, and finish drafts 4, 5, and 6.

It’s a long list, yes. But each item on that checklist, is one thing. The only thing I need to focus on in that moment.

So break down what you need to do for your novel. Your daily word-count goal is all you need to focus on during writing time.

In the Zone Writer

You know you’re in the zone when everything else around you disappears, there are no distractions, the real world doesn’t exist for you, and the words flow onto the page. 

You were most in the zone as a writer before you took writing classes, read books on writing, and ever had your stories workshopped.

This means that getting into the zone doesn’t happen because the lessons from your courses and writing books, and the feedback you’ve received, keeps playing in your mind. 

Should you really write that? Is that the right sentence? The right word? Is there enough description and emotion? How is the pacing? 

The questions stop you from writing. They create doubt within you. You begin to wonder if you know how to write. If you know how to tell a story.

One thing you can do at the start of each writing session, is to pull out what I call a “clearing journal”. It’s a blank document on your computer, a scrap of paper, or an actual notebook. Doesn’t really matter. Take a minute or two at the beginning, to write down all the negative thoughts coming up. All your doubts. Give yourself only a minute or two at the most. Then set the journal aside. If any negative thoughts come up during the writing, tell them it is too late. If they wanted to be heard, they should have spoken up earlier. Even better, after you’ve written down your doubts. Throw out the paper or erase the document.

Selfless Writer

You work hard at your job, you have family, and while you love writing, it ends up coming second to everything else. Why? Because you are generous with your time. 

You care about your family and friends. It is in your nature to look after everyone else first. After all, isn’t that our job? To care for others? 

You squeeze writing into your day, when you can. 

You can make a major impact on your readers.

How does a selfless writer approach writing time? First of all, you have to give yourself writing time. It is OK to take time for yourself. You are not selfish or a narcissist. Your family and friends will be proud of you when they watch you succeeding, going after your goals.

Give yourself thirty minutes or an hour. Maybe it’s a few hours on the weekend. That is your time.

Think of it as putting on your oxygen mask first. Your time for self-care so that you are better able to care for the people you love.

Driven Writer

You’re living the dream. 

If you’re not a full-time writer, you’re on your way. 

This one isn’t so much about approaching writing time, as it is about approaching writing in general, and your career.

My tip here, is to remind you to challenge yourself. Continue to grow as a writer. Take a class, read a new book on writing, experiment with a new genre. For your career, challenge yourself to grow, try new markets, hire an assistant, pitch yourself to podcasts and other online media to grow your platform.

How will you approach your writing time?

That’s it. Short and sweet. What’s your writing personality? How has determining your personality helped you approach your writing time? Share in the comments. Hit me up with an email! sherry [at] sherrypeterscoach . com

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