It’s summer vacation for educators and that means it is the time when most instructors are writing a bit more often than usual. I’m one of those people that likes to write all year round, but I kick things into high gear during the summertime. The fact that I do not teach in the summer gives me more time to concentrate on what I enjoy.
Over the past year or so, I’ve been slowly developing City Island Images, which is a labor of love and most definitely work in progress. Summertime is the best time to accomplish a lot of writing and it feels good.
As someone who writes these blog posts each and every day, I often get asked what’s the secret? or how do I stay motivated to write? Therefore, I’ll write about writing and answer all these questions. If you have others, please send them to:
Everyone has a different approach to writing but these are mine.
First, I enjoy reading and I read every news story I can get my hands on from dailies to weeklies, but monthly publications tend to deal with very old news and information, not to mention those publications which publish less that once a month. I also enjoy an eclectic mix, from politics, to pop-culture from weekly magazines to daily mainstream newspapers, which can now be read online.
I get story ideas from all of this material and I also find fascinating that all of these news sources inform one another. If you don’t take time to read and write, you are in danger of finding that your ideas may begin to get stale.
Second, I dedicate blocks of time to writing and I don’t give up this time for other things unless it’s a real emergency. I consider this a priority. I have learned to write shorter pieces in shorter time periods, but I prefer writing in the morning. I suggest you figure out when your best time is and try it. I am sure there is a time for you to read and write.
Third, I hold myself accountable and ask others to hold me accountable as well. I like to make my writing time public for two reasons: 1.) If I say it publicly, I am much more likely to follow through. It’s a little like exercising. 2.) If I say it publicly, then people know I’m busy writing and are less likely to contact me during that time. Another way I hold myself accountable is by making deadlines for headlines when I’m deciding which headlines to offer my readers.
Fourth, I take breathers whenever my writing starts to get weak, like now for example. If I write for hours and I can tell that I’m starting to lose steam, I’ll stop writing and take a walk or go ride my bike. I find that I get a burst of enthusiasm for writing after a good exercise.
Fifth, I juggle multiple projects so I don’t get bored. I like news writing and blog posts. The freedom involved in blogging or writing news and information helps me to feel more comfortable with my writing.
Sixth, I write about topics that inspire me and about which I am deeply passionate. Feeling this way makes writing so much easier. There’s a purpose behind my writing beyond merely contributing to the news-gathering process. Having this purpose makes a difference in terms of my commitment to writing regularly.
And lastly, I write each and every day. Writing feels natural to me. When I used to write in spurts, it was much harder. I had trouble getting started each time I sat down to write. Writing every day is like exercising every day—you get used to it and it’s much easier the more you do it.
OK. I have to go now and take another break... Adios amigos... Hasta La Vista!