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Core Values for Writers

As a writer you want to write the best novel possible. This isn’t easy. You need an original idea about what you want to write. Then you might make notes or plan an outline. Some writers are good at planning but I’m not one of them.

However, what I have learned on my writing journey so far is...

As a writer you want to write the best novel possible. This isn’t easy. You need an original idea about what you want to write. Then you might make notes or plan an outline. Some writers are good at planning but I’m not one of them. As explained in an earlier blog, I write by the seat of my pants. My planning is in my head. That’s my style and it seems to work for me.


However, what I have learned on my writing journey so far is the need to organise, set goals and self-discipline. In my former life as a teacher these 3 values were essential.

Being organised as a writer is crucial in terms of where you write. Some writers can write

anywhere; others prefer writing at the same place every day. I belong to the latter. I prefer to shut myself in my office, shut the door and to be left alone. I need quiet to concentrate and certainly no background music playing. My desk has to be clear of clutter. Only the essentials of laptop, diary, dictionary, pen/pencil, notepad are allowed. I don’t like to be interrupted unless something is urgent (the house is on fire) but I welcome my wife serving tea/coffee, cakes and biscuits to keep me going.


I find that setting achievable short-term and long-term goals should be a requirement as they are focal points and keep you on track. I set myself a challenge of completing 1000 words a day (short-term goal). When the writing flows you can achieve more, but the opposite is also true. You need to be flexible and accept good and bad days. Inspiration is never the same two days running. An example of a long-term goal is to finish a chapter in 4/5 days or complete the book within a year.


You will find that being organised and setting goals soon become habits and routines and the norm. The ability to be self-disciplined, that is the skill to focus on what is important, though challenging, can be accomplished keeping these values in mind.


Other core values that I bring to writing include motivation, determination, patience and a strong work ethic, but these also belong to my personal values, hence the overlap.


The values underlined are all positive values and help me to write. However, there are also negative values that hinder my writing. Being selfish is one of them. I would never consider myself a selfish person, but when I’m writing, I exclusively devote time to myself to meet my writing targets to the exclusion of my wife’s needs. It is difficult to achieve this important work/family balance and I’m still working on it after four years of trying. However, I occasionally surprise my wife with a box of chocolates and all is well again.


Being professional in treating writing as a business has also hindered my progress. I

thoroughly enjoy writing but these days you need to know about Amazon algorithms,

categories, websites, marketing, publishing and the list goes on. If I knew at the beginning of my writing career that you needed to know all these things, I don’t think I would have started. I was very naïve. I don't have the computer skills to undertake the processes necessary to complete all these tasks, so I thought I would have to pay a hefty fee to a company to publish my book. Fortunately, my daughter and son-in-law came to my rescue and self-published it instead. Without their intervention, my manuscript would have been put in a drawer and forgotten about. I’m a lucky person to have had that support.


Values are important in our daily lives and how we go about our business. We all have different values and there is nothing wrong in that. The same is true about writing. My values for writing will differ to other writers and that’s fine. The essential things to remember are that values shape who we are, what‘s important to us and give our lives meaning.


Please feel free to comment or ask questions I will be happy to hear from you.


Until next time, happy reading.

Mansel

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