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A Checklist for Boosting Your Morale as a Writer

There are 168 hours in a week. You probably spend about 60 of them asleep. That leaves 108 hours, from which we will remove a further 50 for work or other occupations. That leaves 58 hours for writing, or over 8 hours a day!

Here’s a checklist for making sure that you make the most of them. If every writer applied these things routinely, then three big things would happen:

a) your writing would progress a lot smoother

b) you would end up being a more successful writer, and

c) you would be happier in yourself and amongst your friends.


1. Decide to take responsibility for keeping to these guidelines yourself. ___

2. Help others to keep to the guidelines as much as you can. ___

3. If you need help in sticking to these guidelines, talk to someone you trust. ___

4. Each week, have a look over these guidelines and see how you are doing. ___


1. Read How Stories Really Work and make sure that you understand it. If you have a question, ask the author at ___

2. Set up a display of rewards for yourself for meeting writing targets. Make sure that you plan how to achieve a reward and get help with it if needed from your friends or family. ___

4. Model in yourself the behaviour you would want to see from a productive writer. ___

5. Be direct, precise and thoughtful

i) in sketching outlines

ii) in writing chapters

iii) in structuring scenes

iv) in writing sentences. ___

6. Take breaks from writing in an orderly manner. ___

7. Learn the names and natures of all your characters as though they were your friends. ___

8. Praise anything good that you have written wherever you see it. ___

9. If you see something that is wrong, note it down but don’t let it stop you writing. ___

10. Celebrate in a big or small way any successes in your own writing. ___

11. Build positive relationships with those around you as much as you can. ___

12. Make sure that you understand your writing timetable and know where you are supposed to be on it. ___

13. Be prepared in advance for each writing slot with all the materials and books that you need. ___

14. Stay calm at all times and do not permit any hitch to take control of your responses. ___

I know, much of this is easier said than done - but if you can stick to this set of guidelines for even just two weeks, your morale as a writer will skyrocket.


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