Tuesday, September 21, 2010


A little over a year ago, I had a great idea. After years of writing and editing for others, I decided it was time to actually do that which I had been claiming I would eventually get done: write a novel.

In July 2009, I made a promise to myself that I would write 1,000 words a day toward achieving my goal. To date, that promise has resulted in three complete novels and one half-done manuscript (which will get 1,000 words added to it today).

Along the way, I discovered three things that helped me achieve this goal:

1. Daily Journaling. As a writer, the most important thing you can do is keep a journal. What you write is less important than the fact that you are writing. I use my journal to contain the results of my writing exercises and, when I'm frustrated, to vent. So far, my daily journal "seeds" have grown two novels.

2. Stop Re-Reading. For me, the process of writing flows best when I don't spend a lot of time reviewing what I've already written. If I try to edit as I go along, I get bogged down in trying to fix it. Here's a hint I should have learned from my mechanically gifted father: you can't fix something before you've got all the pieces. Wait until you're done writing and editing will be a snap.

3. Create Good Writing Habits. Set a goal of a certain number of words a day and stick with it. If 1,000 sounds too daunting, start with 100. make an effort to reach your writing goal every day for a month. After that first month, you'll feel like you're missing something when you don't sit down and write.

I invite all writers to join me here. I'll be providing writing exercises daily and reviews of indie-written novels as I read them. I look forward to getting to know you.

Susan Wells Bennett
The Thief of Todays and Tomorrows
Circle City Blues
The Prophet's Wives

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