My Writing Routine!

I made a blog post about my writing routine sometime in 2017, but it has changed a lot in the last month so I decided to make a revamped version so you guys can see what my process of writing looks like! I hope you enjoy and make sure to comment what your writing routine looks like.

6:00pm

Lately I have been writing at this coffee shop like three minutes from my house. It’s big, quiet and has lots of cute writing nooks. Since I go there to write multiple times a week, I usually just order a green tea so I don’t run out of money by next week. Once I have my tea, I open Spotify on my phone and listen to Spotify’s “Productive Morning” playlist because it is a massive playlist of calm music. I cannot write easily to music with lyrics, which is why I like this playlist so much, so if you are in search of a playlist like that then check it out!

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6:15pm

By now I have my music playing, my tea, and my Word document open on my computer so I dive into writing. I try not to write with any particular goal in mind, because I have realized that it is a lot harder for me to write with the pressure of reaching a goal of say 1000 words. Despite that, it is unusual for me to leave the coffee shop with at least 1000 words done.

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7:00-7:15pm

This is the time I usually finish writing for the night unless I am so distracted by my writing that I end up staying an extra thirty minutes or so. Sometimes this happens but I am usually too tired to stay any longer. As long as I get 1000 words down, I feel accomplished though!

That is all for my writing routine and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: 5 Resources for Writers!

Other Places You Can Find Me:

Twitter: @zoermathers

Pinterest: @zoermathers

5 Resources for Writers!

The internet has created an insane amount of resources for writers, but here are 5 of my personal favourites to help narrow down the picking. I hope you enjoy!

Writing Exercises

Feeling stumped? Check out this website for writers where they have an endless supply of generators to get your creative juices flowing like random first line, character, plot generator, and a “what if” scenario. I could spend hours just playing with the generators, so this is definitely one of my go to websites when I have absolutely no idea what to write.

Pinterest 

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I could not make a writing resource post and not include Pinterest, because it is the holy grail when it comes to visualizing your story. Not only can you create boards of your story setting and characters, you can also scroll through their endless amount of creative writing prompts. When I really need to picture a setting or character of mine, I automatically go to Pinterest, and also if I want some writing prompts! Check out my Pinterest linked below because I have a board with a lot of writing prompts I have found over the past year.

WritersDigest

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If you are a writer, you have definitely checked out the WritersDigest website because it is amazing and so helpful. Not only do they have writing contests and classes, but they also have free writing downloads that are really interesting and helpful when it comes to striving to pursue writing. Some of my personal favourites of the free downloads are “How Do I Write and Sell Short Ficition” and “Selling Your Work Online”.

The Write Life

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I follow them on Twitter and I always look forward to the bits of information they give out, because it has really made me aware of things I wasn’t before, like the fact that you have to write a cover letter when submitting to literary magazines. What a life saver! On their website, you will find tips on freelancing, craft, blogging, marketing, and a few other things so definitely click their name and it will take you to their website!

Susan Dennard

Susan Dennard is the author of a few different YA books, one of the being the bestselling book “Truthwitch” and on her website is the motherload of writing advice. If you sign up to her newsletter, you will also occasionally receive newsletters on writing in your email (not very often though so don’t worry). Honestly, you could spend hours on her website soaking up every bit of information she has shared with us aspiring writers and I really encourage you to check it out!

Those are my 5 favourite writing resources that I always turn to when I need ideas or advice, and hopefully you found them helpful! If you have any writing resources you use, comment them below because I’m always looking for more. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Balancing Writing with a Writing Life

Other Places You Can Find Me:

Twitter: @zoermathers

Pinterest: @zoermathers

Reading/Writing Update!

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I have read 3 books this week…crazy I know right. And they weren’t rereads either! Each one I really enjoyed, and have just made me more motivated to read. The last book I finished was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, and I picked it up at around 9pm and finished it at 12am. It was so good I couldn’t put it down (except for the collective twenty minutes I had to get ready for bed and clean my room) but it was just so gripping I had to know how it would end. I don’t know exactly what to pick up next…I feel like an easy contemporary but I also kind of want to start on This Savage Song…hmm. I think I am going to pick up This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab because I have heard nothing but AMAZING things about it so I am curious to see if it lives up to the hype. Also this is my first Victoria/V.E. Scwab book so yay!

As for writing, I have been writing about 1000 words a day since Thursday, and am loving getting back into writing. Last night after finishing We Were Liars, I could not sleep because one, I was too sad and two, I really wasn’t tired at all, so I got my laptop and started writing. I wrote until about 2am and finished with just over 1000 words which I was really happy about. From past writing experiences I have realized that if I get the urge to write, I need to just write because otherwise it can be really hard to get myself to sit down and write. It is easy once I get going, but as they say, starting is the hardest part.

That is all for my reading/writing update and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: 5 Goals Every Writer Should Set + How to Stay Accountable

P.S. All the pictures I use in my heading and blog posts are NOT mine. I do not take credit for them because I am an awful photographer, but if you are the owner or know the owner of any of the photos I use please tell me so I can give them credit!

5 Goals Every Writer Should Set + How to Stay Accountable

It is essential to have goals if you are a writer, especially if you plan on going somewhere with your writing. Most important though, it is essential to actually stick to those goals because otherwise you won’t find yourself where you want to be by the time the next year comes rolling around, and trust me, it will come a lot faster than anticipated. A lot of people make the mistake of setting these massive goals and then giving up two weeks into the new year, so today I will be sharing some of my personal ideas, goals and tips centered around creating and sticking to writing related goals!

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  1. Write Everyday – If you are a writer, you probably already write everyday. I know I do, even if it is not related to my fiction writing. Writing everyday includes writing a story, essay, blog post, or even a journal entry, really anything that relates to using your writing muscle. This is a really easy goal to make, and honestly it may be the easiest one to keep up with. Just set aside anywhere between ten minutes to even an hour in the morning, afternoon or evening and write in your journal or even a quick blog post. The point is, to be a writer, you have to actually write.
  2. Submit to At Least One Literary Magazine or Writing Contest – It amazes me how many people don’t take the opportunity to submit their work to literary magazines or writing contests, especially if it is completely free for you to do! Submitting your work to magazines is a great way to get your name and work out there and the writing world, and even possibly make some money off of the thing you love to do. If you need some recommendations for literary magazines to submit to, definitely check out my blog post where I share 10 literary magazines that are completely free to submit to!
  3. Read, Read, Read – This is an obvious one, but it is one that needs to be  enforced because sometimes we get so caught up with our writing that we forget to read. Reading helps motivate and inspire us to write, and is an essential ingredient to creating a story. Even if you are caught up in writing your own story, don’t forget to crack open a book even if it is just for 15 minutes a day.
  4. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo/NaNoWriMo – Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo give you the motivation (and excuse) to write during the month of July and November, and give you a reason to connect with other writers from around the world. Even if you do not reach the goal of 50k words in a month, as long as NaNoWriMo gets you to write something I see that as a huge success! So definitely add participating in Camp NaNoWriMo or NaNoWriMo to your goals for 2018 because it is such a fun and beneficial experience. it will amaze you how much of a manuscript you can get done in a short period of time.
  5. Connect With Other Writers – This had never been a goal of mine until this year, when I realized how important it is to connect with other writers. Writing is a lonely task, and if you have someone else to discuss writing with, it will make it less lonely. Also, by connecting with other writers you can share your work with each other, get feedback and learn how to give feedback too; all things that benefit and create a well-rounded writer!

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When it comes to staying accountable to your goals, it is important to one, create goals that are not too far out of reach, but just far enough to get you out of your comfort zone and two, create goals that you control the outcome of. By this I mean not writing down I resolve to win one writing contest this year…because while that would be amazing, you are not in control of who the judges choose. Instead, choose a broader goal like I resolve to enter one writing contest this year. Now that is something you can control. And finally third, create goals but also create a plan to achieve those goals. It is easy to write down I resolve to enter one writing contest this year, but how are you going to actually do this? Are you going to write everyday for two weeks before the contest? Are you going to start editing three days before? These are important things to think of when writing down your goals, and it will make them so much easier to achieve when you know exactly how you are going to do it.

Ways I stay accountable to my goals are by treating myself to a reward if I write everyday for a week, or accomplish a goal by submitting different pieces of work to a few literary magazines or writing contests. If you reward yourself, you will find yourself feeling more motivated to accomplishing the goals on your list. Another way I make sure I accomplish my goals, is by setting reminders on my phone because sometimes I honestly just forget. Sometimes I need that reminder to sit down and write for thirty minutes, or sometimes I forget that a writing contest deadline is coming up. Writing it down isn’t always enough.

 

Those are some goals every writer should set and also how to stay accountable. Hopefully this was somewhat helpful to you, and gave you some ideas of what goals you should set of yourself as a writer, but if you have some more goal ideas definitely leave them in the comments! If you liked this blog post please like it so I know to make more, and also don’t forget to check out my last blog post: 10 Literary Magazines To Submit To (NO FEES) 🙂

Reading/Writing Update!

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Merry Christmas Eve! This is the second last reading/writing update before the new year which is crazy. I cannot believe we are only a week away from 2018, I am hands down ready for 2017 to be over though, so I cannot wait. Anyways, this week hasn’t been an amazing reading week. I prefer to read right before bed but this last week I have been falling asleep as soon as I touch my bed…meaning I haven’t gotten a lot of reading done. Yesterday was my first day off school so I spent it lounging around and being lazy, but hopefully I have gotten that out of system and am going to make these next two weeks productive reading and writing wise…fingers crossed I can fight the laziness and procrastination. However, I did finish Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert this week, and I absolutely adored it! I will talk about my feelings om it more in my December 2017 Wrap Up which will be coming in a week or so, but for now, all you need to know is that it is definitely worth the read! I have also been re reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling, and am about 170 pages in. I am hoping I can finish it pretty soon because there are so many other books I want to get to but I also don’t want to rush it!

Lately I have been planning a creative non-fiction piece I am working on for a local writing contest. The deadline isn’t until March so I got plenty of time, but lately I have been leaving things to the last minute and while I do think so of my best work is produced that way, I don’t want to get in that habit. So I have slowly been mapping out my ideas and what the goal of my piece is, and I am really enjoying it! I am really glad I have decided to write more than just fiction, because while fiction will always be my favourite to write, I do really enjoy writing essays and creative non-fiction pieces!

That is all for my reading/writing update and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: January 2017 TBR!