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5 Quick Tips for Making Time to Write

Some days are perfect, aren’t they? Everything is on point and very productive. Others, it’s a struggle just to get out of bed without falling on your face. I find myself resting on the side of face-falling about 85% of my time lately…especially as I struggle to find time to write leading up to this season’s Camp NaNoWriMo session in April.

With only 5 days to go before the big kick-off, I have set my goal of producing 25,000 words of my novel series project.

Here are 5 of my favorite tips for writers of any age, background, genre, and skill:

  1. Create Your Own Personal Writing Space
    • Don’t go overboard. All you need is a distraction-free and consistent environment.
    • Make it a special spot at your dining room table, your home office, or your favorite table at Panera.
    • Establish someplace where you can go for a preset time and simply tend to the task of writing.
  2. Establish Writing Goals
    • Again, don.
    • Set yourself an overarching goal for the entire project. Then break your project up into smaller chunks and set a goal for each smaller chunk that will allow you to make your overarching deadline. Break each smaller chunk up into separate writing sessions and give yourself a deadline for each session.
  3. Track Your Progress
    • Keep a spreadsheet or a notebook handy that allows you to track your performance. Information needed would be *scheduled* start and end times, *actual* start and end times, total time spent writing, and total number of words written. This will allow you a quick glance at where you sit for the month.
    • Don’t get too fancy. You don’t need elaborate formulas or even pretty colors. Keep it simple. This is just a way to track your progress and shouldn’t take more time than your actual project. This leads directly into number two, The Pareto Principle.
  4. Remember the 80/20 Principle
    • The Pareto Principle is a simple one. It states that 20 percent of your time and effort will generate 80 percent of your results. This principle is true for most things in life, like the distribution of wealth and even the number of writers compared to the percentage of the total number of books sold.
    • Using this principle, identify and get rid of the 80 percent that isn’t helping you.
  5. WRITE!
    • This seems self-explanatory, but worth the mention.
    • JUST. DO. IT. You’ve spent a significant amount of time planning and making this opportunity possible. Don’t squander it.

If you’re serious about writing, you will take every opportunity to make your dream a reality. It is only by the amount of effort that you put into this that you will get any worthwhile results.

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
Walter Elias Disney

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Pixar offers free online lessons in storytelling via Khan Academy

(Originally posted on techcrunch.com by )

There are few organizations in the world that can claim more expertise when it comes to storytelling than Pixar. The Disney-owned animation studio is known for its ability to consistently create world-class movies with gripping narrative alongside stunning visuals. Now, Pixar is helping others learn the secrets of great storytelling – for free, in partnership with online education provider Khan Academy.

The two have teamed up to create “Pixar In A Box,” and in this third instalment of the series, lessons are sourced from Pixar directors and story artists including Inside Out and Updirector Pete Docter, Brave director Mark Andrews, Inside Out story artist Domee Shi, and Ratatouille animator Sanjay Patel.

The first lesson is available now, and will provide an introduction to storytelling as well as help you hone your initial creation of things like setting and character. The lessons include both videos and activities for students to complete, and provides a general basis on which to build. The next instalment will focus on Character creation specifically, and others segments will address storyboarding, emotional appeal and more, with releases happening throughout 2017.
Pixar’s previous Khan Academy courses include topics like virtual cameras, effects and animations, but this is the first to focus on the less technical aspects of movie creation. I expect Pixar will offer me a job upon completion of this course and then I’ll win my Oscar.

Darrell Etherington
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Daily Writing Exercise: December 30th – Setting Development

Friday, December 30, 2016: Setting Development Prompt

This exercise is to help your character get to know their surroundings better. There’s nothing more fun to read than a well-informed character that knows tiny little secrets about the settings around them.

Here’s what you need to know!

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Daily Writing Exercise: December 25th – Free Topic Day!

Sunday, December 25, 2016: Free Topic Day!

christmas_stockingsMERRY CHRISTMAS!

Write today about something random…something that you grab out of the air and run with. This is just short enough that you gain your daily skills practice, but just long enough to create something special!

Spend no more than 15 minutes with your creation today and then curl up with your new favorite read!

Daily Writing Exercise: December 23rd – Setting Development

Friday, December 23, 2016: Setting Development Prompt

This exercise is to help your character get to know their surroundings better. There’s nothing more fun to read than a well-informed character that knows tiny little secrets about the settings around them.

Here’s what you need to know!

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Daily Writing Exercise: December 18th – Free Topic Day!

Sunday, December 18, 2016: Free Topic Day!

Write today about something random…something that you grab out of the air and run with. This is just short enough that you gain your daily skills practice, but just long enough to create something special!

Spend no more than 15 minutes with your creation today and then curl up with your new favorite read!

Daily Writing Exercise: December 16th – Setting Development

Friday, December 16, 2016: Setting Development Prompt

This exercise is to help your character get to know their surroundings better. There’s nothing more fun to read than a well-informed character that knows tiny little secrets about the settings around them.

Here’s what you need to know!

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Daily Writing Exercise: December 11th – Free Topic Day!

Sunday, December 11, 2016: Free Topic Day!

Write today about something random…something that you grab out of the air and run with. This is just short enough that you gain your daily skills practice, but just long enough to create something special!

Spend no more than 15 minutes with your creation today and then curl up with your new favorite read!

Daily Writing Exercise: December 9th – Setting Development

Friday, December 9, 2016: Setting Development Prompt

This exercise is to help your character get to know their surroundings better. There’s nothing more fun to read than a well-informed character that knows tiny little secrets about the settings around them.

Here’s what you need to know!

Read More...
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