Showing posts with label writing commitment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing commitment. Show all posts

Writing Commitment - It Can Be a Positive Thing

Guest Post by Irene S. Roth

    Most writers hate the word commitment because it usually has negative overtones. To be committed is to dutifully complete a project or to create an obligation to write a certain amount every day. So, commitment always requires something from writers. Is there any way of viewing commitment in a much more positive light so that writers don’t panic at the very thought of commitment?

    Commitment in itself doesn’t have negative overtones. Writers have to reframe what it means to be committed to their writing projects. Without commitments, it can be difficult for writers to actually complete writing projects on time. And many times if writers work with publishers and editors, they will have to make many time commitments to complete projects. That is all a part of the writing life and being a professional writer.

    There are ways of viewing commitment in a positive light.  Here are a few such ways.

1.    Commitments can give writers structure

Many times, writers tend to find it hard to schedule writing projects. However, if a writer commits to the project, she will create a writing schedule to complete the project in a timely fashion. And this will boast the writer’s self-confidence, productivity and success quotient.

2.    Commitments can help writers complete projects

So many writers have a difficult time completing writing projects. They start off being on fire and motivated but as time goes on their motivation dwindles and the drive to complete projects is curtailed if not ruined altogether. Many times, this is because other things and life intervenes.  But most times it is because our motivations tend to fluctuate.  Commitments can solidify a writer’s motivations and make them firmer.

3.    Commitments can help the writer determine the most important writing goals

So many things come across a writer’s desk in a given week. If a writer doesn’t make commitments to certain writing projects, she will probably take on projects and assignments that will take her any closer to completing her own main writing projects. Commitments can change that by ensuring that the writer does first things first at all times.

Given all the benefits of creating commitments, writers can’t afford not to commit to writing projects. After they have committed to them, they will be able to take steps to complete their most important projects and be successful. This will create self-confidence and ensure that the writer can start the next project and complete it too after this particular project is complete.

So, writers should reframe how they view commitments. Instead of being something negative, commitment can be positive and ensure that the writer will be most successful. And once a writer completes one project that she committed to, she will be able to commit to others as well. 

Try it!

Irene S. Roth
Freelance Writer, Author, and Editor

Irene writes for teens, tweens, and kids about self-empowerment. She currently has two empowerment books published, one for tweens and one for kids. She also leads workshops on the craft of writing through Savvy Authors.


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Why Do You Write?

Why are you writing?  You need to be clear on your purpose. Although we all would like to be well compensated, if you are writing just for the money or to be famous, you will never sustain a writing life.  Writing is a passion and a process.  Understanding why your write will help you direct the process.   When you are in the middle of writing you need to be writing because you want to write.  If you are writing to market yourself but do not value the process of writing, then maybe what you want to do is hire a ghostwriter. 

So the question is…As a writer, are you committed to the process?  Writing is a commitment. Many people want to write, but never seem to make it happen.  How we spend the time in our life reflects what we value.  If you don’t make time to write, then at this juncture in your life writing is not what you value, at least not right now.

I know writers who have full lives with children, families, full time jobs, community commitments and still find time to write an hour or two a day, by getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning.  They value writing so have found a way to squeeze it into their lives.  I am not suggesting that you need to write 2 hours a day.  There are no judgments about how much your write or when your write. What is important is to notice where you put your time and focus.

If you really want a clear picture of what you are putting value on in your life, track all your activities for one week.  You may be surprised where your time goes and you may just find some additional writing time.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life strategist. For more information check out   or folllow her at:  

Being a Writer - Learn the Craft of Writing

Being a Writer - Learn the Craft of Writing

In the June 2010 issue of The Writer, author Jane Yolen discussed the need to learn the craft of writing in an article titled, “Dedicate Yourself to a Writing Apprenticeship.” She explained that the process is slow and long, but is necessary to being a writer, to learn the craft of writing.

If you’re wondering what the craft of writing is, it’s proper writing technique, grammar, and style. These writing elements include structure, formatting, clarity, and in fiction writing, plot, character development, point of view, and dialogue. Even knowing the particulars in the genre you write is important.

So, what exactly is the meaning of the word ‘craft?’

Wikipedia’s definition is, “A craft is a branch of a profession that requires some particular kind of skilled work.”

Merriam-Webster refers to ‘craft’ as an occupation requiring “artistic skill.”

And, mentions membership in a guild.

Between all three definitions we know that a ‘craft’ is a branch of a professional group or guild. It is a career or occupation, not simply a hobby.

The Road to Becoming an Accomplished Writer

Interestingly, there are various avenues that can be taken to become an accomplished or professional writer, but each one has the need for learning, practice, time, and commitment. Some writers may go to school and get degrees, others may learn from a coach or mentor, others from trial and error, failures and successes. But, whichever path is taken, there is a lot of work that goes into becoming experienced and knowledgeable, in being a writer. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.

But today, with the easy-to-do-it-yourself self-publishing explosion, writers may not be viewed as professionals. Certainly, most people have read a self-published book or e-book that lacks proper grammar, structure, and even clarity. These products are easy to spot, but yet they’re available for sale, and the authors consider themselves writers.

While it’s great that those who want to write have a vehicle to publish their own work, especially in this overwhelmed publishing market, those who don’t take the time to learn the craft of writing do themselves and others an injustice. They make the self-publishing book market murky and the label of ‘writer’ less professional.

This shouldn’t be the case.

Think of a professional musician. Imagine him playing an amazing piece, smooth, fluid, and beautiful – every note is perfect. Now imagine another musician; this one isn’t in tune, can’t read the music, misses notes, and sounds awful. Which musician do you want to be?

You should want to be the professional; the one who offers polished and experienced work; the one who earns a reputation for quality.

According to, it doesn’t matter what your experience level is, there is always room for improvement. Writers should strive to “study ways to improve their craft.” While this may take time and work, it is easy to find the needed help and resources.

To begin, do a search for online writing instruction; try the keyword “learn to write.” You can also check your local schools for adult education classes, or take some college writing courses. There is an abundance of writing information available, much of it free or very inexpensive; take advantage of it.

Being a writer means you need to learn the craft of writing, and continue honing your skills.

More on Writing

Writing Means Commitment
So, You Want to be a Writer
Improve Your Writing – Know About Sentences

Writing Means Commitment

This morning I had messages from two students. Both have important exams this week. 

One emailed to say she had not  time to do anything but revise. 

The other, who is studying for several exams at degree level, sent me the final revisions for her noir novel, due to be published in August. 
That was commitment: commitment to her  book, to her editor, to her publisher.

Commitment to writing for publication means taking on board all aspects of the job--and yes, it is a job. It may be creative, it may be an art, it may allow you to work flexi-time. 

But writing has all the same pressures as any other business--research and development, selection of the best materials for the job, deadlines, attention to detail, scrupulous checking and discarding when necessary to ensure a perfect product.

No matter what is happening in your life, writing and the commitment to completing projects with set deadlines has to come first if you want to be seen as reliable.

Writing Communities
Dublin Writers Festival 2007
Dublin Writers' Festival 2007 by Letcombe on Flickr
One way to develop accountability and start building a writing platform is to join a writing group.  

Writers pass through various on- and off-line  communities in their writing journey. Cyber-writing-friends, met at the start of the adventure, will disappear and re-appear at various points along the way.

Each and every writing group has something to teach as regards developing talents, finding an authentic writer's voice. Each satisfies a particular need at a specific  stage of a writing career. 

These writing communities develop the sense of writing commitment so important to writers both at the beginning and throughout their career. 

 But commitment needs to be more than logging a set number of words per day--though that's a pretty good start. Commitment needs to be two-way. And it's the sharing and the genuine interest in promoting the success of everyone in the group that's the key to the most successful writing communities. 

 We may all at some time have joined a group which seems to be a mechanism for its leader's shameless self-promotion. We have all suffered from crits which are showy stylistic gems proving the awesome cleverness of the critter but which give no constructive help to the beleaguered author. 

Some groups are victims of their own success, grow too big and writers drift away.

Writing means Marketing   

Choose your writing communities carefully. Your writing friends are your family for the duration of your writing journey. 

Choose friends whose focus is akin to your own. Banding together will make you stronger. Always arguing about products and promotion will not. 

Choose a group where you share ideals and if possible genre. Promote each other and your enthusiasm will increase sales exponentially.  

Thousands of followers on FaceBook and Twitter will not sell your book any better than a group of family, best friends, workmates and writing communities who support you and who buy your book and recommend it to everyone they know.

It won't happen in a day. Marketing like writing needs consistent effort. Commit to your writing and to your writing friends and watch your sales increase. 

 Anne Duguid is a senior content editor with MuseItUp Publishing and   her New Year's Resolution is to blog with helpful writing,editing and publishing tips at Slow and Steady Writers far more regularly than she managed in 2011.

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