How to Write Like a Professional

How to Write Like a Professional
6 Surprising Mistakes That Make Writers Look Like Amateurs... and How to Avoid Them

Monday, January 3, 2011

How to Write: One Day at a Time

What I learned this weekend is that writing is still slow, no matter how fast you want it to go. And no matter all the normal setbacks of life, writing your masterpiece (whether a novel, a picture book, or a magazine piece) is still accomplished one word at a time.

why is writing so slow? || slow is good | snails are slow | snail mail | how to write faster

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you build a successful writing career? One story at a time. How do you write your stories? One word at a time. This may seem simplistic, or even redundant, but it bears repeating. Working full-time definitely puts a kink in my writing life. I'm still adjusting, and it's only been two months. But then there were the holidays.

Once I get organized (one scrap of paper at a time), I'll feel like I can breathe again. Then I'll be able to finally critique five short stories in a month again. Hope you gals over at Story Swappers and Writer Exchange can forgive me...

So what am I thankful for today? 

Anything slow: snails, school buses, pot roast, the living room painting project, and my kids getting ready for bed.

Sometimes slow is good.

Writing takes years to perfect, years to break into print, and years to feel like you've "arrived." And that's okay. If you're in it because you love it, then you're in for the long haul. You got this! One day, one story, one word... at a time.

When your desk is cluttered, it's hard to focus and get anything done. You've come to a standstill - slower than a snail. To speed up and get back to work again, you have to declutter. So, take an hour to go through all your papers. Tidy up your office. Get organized. Decluttering adds speed to the writing process. And who wouldn't like to be a little faster from time to time?

Which brings me to the fact that I'm also thankful for fast things, like high-speed internet. And all my wonderful blogger friends and followers - even if you're a little slow like me.

What do you tell yourself when you feel unorganized and you can't breathe and all you want to do is write, but you just can't until you declutter? 

Keep on keepin' on...


  1. I try to jot down quick notes until I can get to a real writing break. It is a very frustrating feeling though! Writing clears my mind, so it is hard to put it off to clear my world!

  2. Sometimes the story just won't go away, so I have to sit down and spend 5 minutes (or whatever time I have) and make a list of all the things running around in my head. Then, when I know I won't forget, I can move onto something else until I can get back to writing.

  3. There is a lot of wisdom in this little post. I think it's a lesson writers need to re-learn at various stages.

    Oh, and I haven't finished my critiques for December either, and I don't even work full time!

  4. Beautiful post, Christie!

    I jot down a list of things I need to remember, and let whichever story or article decides to take root in my brain develop while I de-clutter.

  5. Oh, the joy of lists! Such a great thing, lists are...

  6. I tell myself that if I just keep on getting things done (slowly) eventually I'll be able to move on to the things I want to do. I have a ton of goals for this new year, but I know that they are only going to happen one day at a time (even though I get frustrated with the slowness sometimes).

    I love your blog...I awarded you a Stylish Blogger Award at
    Please stop by to accept it!

  7. Joanne, goals are great! I'm just trying to figure out how to bleed the day to get more than 24 hours out of each. Wish me luck, right? But yes, one day at a time is probably the best policy.

    Thanks so much for awarding me the Stylish Blogger Award! Will be by to check it out and accept asap!


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