We have to change our lives for ourselves.

I’ve thought a lot about where I’m going in the last couple of weeks.

It’s brought me to realize I’m not working on me as much as I should.

Sure, I write something new all of the time but I don’t work on what I’ve written.

Last week I talked about characters and how important they are.

I still believe that but things change.

I have a lot of stories that need work. They need their characters developed further.

I’ve always believed in having a goal for the summer.

Whether it was spending time with my cousin as a kid, with my kids now, or figuring out that what I’ve written is a good start, it just needs work.

What I’ve written is good enough for now.

I’ve thought I needed something new to keep me fresh and keep writing, but I have a lot of good stories they only need fixing.

My goal by the end of the year is to have most of them ready or submitted to agents or magazines.

Until the end of the year I’ll be focusing on improving all of them.

It will be difficult to ignore that little voice in my head telling me to write something new but writing isn’t always about that something new.

It’s about editing, revising and I’ve ignored that aspect of my writing for too long.

It’s time to work.

Why I don’t set daily word count goals.

Forever, like just about every writer I know, I set a daily word count goal and a project goal.

I thought I had to do that.

I use Scrivener to write with. It allows me to set a word count goal for the project and it calculates what my daily goal should be based up one where I’ve set my deadline, which is usually three months out.

But after struggling to write since finishing the book in December, I decided to use the writing formula I had for that one.

For that book, I created a playlist, which gained a few followers on Spotify, wrote for 25 minute sprints, with 5 minute breaks.

I’ve tried doing that since but I always got distracted by the internet.

On Saturday , I created a new playlist on Spotify, keeping it secret, and busted out 2916 words in the four sprints.

I took away the project goal, which when I took took away the deadline in the program eliminated the daily word count goal. I still have a deadline for the end of July, but taking that off the program increased my focus, which was my goal of following the formula.

I wrote 86k on the December project in that month, I’m not sure I’ll replicate that, but it would be great to write like that again.

I changed how I write because I felt stymied by what I was doing. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t putting words on the page but after changing things I believe I’ll be crushing my word count for this project.

I don’t have a daily word count goal, I write until my four sprints are over, then I look at my word count. But I don’t have goal in mind before I start writing. I only want to get clean, truthful words on the page. With this formula, that’s what I’ll be doing.

How is your writing going? Are you having the same issues as I have?

Try changing your music, where you write, or event what you drink or have beforehand. Those little things can change everything.

Have a good Monday and happy writing!

Finding your voice.

There is always talk about voice. But there isn’t a great description of what it is.

I’ll give it to you easier.

Voice is that part of your writing that is you. That little part that sounds only like you.

Here’s how I do it.

I only have the things I’ve experienced, the life I’ve lived and I pull from those things.

We each have the moments we’ve experienced in our lives. Each of us can only think like ourselves, with those thoughts, we’re able to find our voice.

When you think about how life was growing up, when you’re thinking about what that time you ate dinner at your friends house and their family interaction was vastly different from your own, those are the types of moments you should pull from.

The awesome thing is, you can write with that type of knowledge in every genre. Everyone gets uncomfortable at their friend’s house. All of have been there at some point. Use it.

How you perceive the world around you is different from how I do or anyone else. Use that perception and build your characters with it.

While building you’ll discover a voice that is authentic to only you.