Do something every day to get you closer to your dream. That was one of the first and best pieces of advice I received when I was just packing my bags to begin my writing journey. (Thank you, Ann Purmell.)
Of course, “do something” leaves ample room for personalization. Assuming you agree with the concept, you’re probably wondering how you’d find time to do something every day.
Well, in 2015 I heard Newbery winner Kathi Appelt talk about a time in her life when she was frustrated over finding writing time. A friend challenged her to write every day. Kathi said she’d try for 30 minutes daily, but her friend protested. She wanted Kathi to aim for a mere five minutes a day. Kathi was confident she could commitment to that!
No surprise, Kathi oftentimes exceeds her five minute allotment, but regardless of the minutes, the important thing is, she is doing something every day–creating momentum, a worthy habit, a dream-supporting discipline.
Being the smart little snicker doodles you are, you knew I’d challenge you next, didn’t you. I want to give you a dozen options to spend five or ten minutes each day to bring your dreams closer to reality.
- Interview one character from your work in progress.
- Order a new book on writing technique – may I suggest Kendra Levin’s The Hero is You.
- Compile a list of names—first or last or both together–for future characters.
- Read a blog post by an editor or author you admire.
- Send someone you appreciate a quick thank you email. It could be a fellow writer, an editor or maybe a conference speaker who encouraged you.
- Write one scene.
- Register for a retreat or conference.
- Read two pages of your WIP out loud or ask someone to read them to you.
- Tidy your desk top (either your computer desk top or your actual desk).
- Research a publishing house for a future submission.
- Type out the text of one of your favorite picture books so you can study it.
- Do a Find/Replace in one chapter (or five pages) to weed out your “crutch words,” e.g. just, actually, started or to root out passive voice.
Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly. ~ Langston Hughes