I’ve been blogging weekly since March 5, 2011, and this is my 210th post. That’s four years of Tuesday Café blog posts.
My very first post was on a Saturday, but the second one was on a Tuesday. That’s why I started calling my blog Tuesday Café. I know that doesn’t make much sense, but I wanted a name—something other than “Suzanne’s Blog”—and there you have it.
Now I’ve decided I’m not going to be as structured. I’ll probably still blog weekly, but it doesn’t have to be on a Tuesday. And I’m renaming the blog, The Chimes Café—a name I got from a café in one of my Story Worlds.
Four years ago, I was only beginning this writing journey. I’ve learned a bit since then and I want to share some of that with you now.
Ten Things I’ve Learned Along The Way
1. Be committed
It’s not gonna happen magically. There are no elves that sit down at my keyboard and do it while I sleep. I need to show up. Ninety percent of anything is showing up. We’ve all heard the “10% inspiration, 90% perspiration” rule. So set some kind of schedule and stick to it.
2. Be realistic
I can’t commit to 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s hard to commit to 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. Some weeks it’s just not going to happen. But that’s no reason to throw in the towel. I will keep coming back, until the current book is done. And then I will start the next one.
3. Be prepared
I know for sure that writing “The End” is only the beginning. Then there’s the editing, the proofing, the formatting, the cover choices, the quest for reviews. All of it takes longer than you thought it would.
4. Stay hydrated
Having water bottles in the middle of the hall reminds me to take sips all day long.
5. Stay flexible
Do a cobra stretch every hour to avoid Hunched-Over-Keyboard Syndrome.
6. Treat yourself
Have a cupcake. Have a cupcake with a candle on it. Celebrate something. Every one thousand words needs a cupcake.
7. Have a writing buddy
Report your word count daily. This does not have to be elaborate. Keep it simple. Something like this:
Subject line: report
Body of email: 129 words
8. Go for long walks, alone
Give the muse a break.
Breathe in the fresh air.
If it’s raining, carry an umbrella.
If the sidewalks are icy where you live, go skiing.
9. Have fun
Sure, writing is a business, but it needs to be fun if you’re going to stay in it for the long haul. If you don’t enjoy those long, lonely hours at the keyboard, do something else. Take up knitting, or learn French, or try skydiving.
It takes a long time to learn the Craft, and you’ll always be learning it. Part of the learning is the apprenticeship. You learn by doing.
Many writers think they need to read one more craft book, need to take one more course. But reading craft books does not equal writing. You’re already good enough. Start writing. Practice. It’s not set in stone. It can always be edited later.
Do you have any writing tips you’d like to pass along?
What do you think of The Chimes Café for a blog name?
Do you like cupcakes? With candles?
Do you let your candles burn all the way down to the icing?
Cupcake from iStockphoto.com #000012620129
keyboard from iStockphoto.com #000007155263
water bottle from iStockphoto.com #000007155263
yoga cobra from bigstockphoto.com #7947064
lots of cupcakes from photos.com #114302447
long walk from photos.com #137398544
skydiving from iStockphoto.com #000016403632
pen from iStockphoto.com #000014549265