Back to School, Back to Writing

Whether you have children going back to school or not, September always feels like the beginning of the year. Piles of freshly sharpened pencils and stacks of spiral notebooks give the itch to start something new. So it's time to get things in order for a new writing year.

Envision your "classroom". Just like a brightly-decorated schoolroom, there's a sense of anticipation in a "new" space. It doesn't have to be the same place you've always used. A new or different environment might get you sitting down to write more than in the past.

You can spruce up your present writing corner by clearing clutter, or swiping a bright coat of paint. Or you might carve out a niche in an unexpected spot in your home. Put up a screen, or tack some curtains around it to let others know you're hard at work.

Experiment with how well you work outside your home. Does the busyness of the local coffee shop invigorate you or distract you? Is there a cozy corner of the library that speeds up your word count? Perhaps a spot with a beautiful view will inspire a manuscript you've been avoiding.

Spring for new supplies. Why should the kids have all the fun? Head over to the office supply store, and pick up some patterned file folders to replace your plain manila ones. Check out the vast selection of pens, notebooks, and sticky notes. Grab a new planner to fill in with contest deadlines, conference dates, and your own word count goals. Don't forget to keep your receipts for tax purposes.

Plan your days. Teachers have to fill out lesson plans, accounting for every moment they're responsible for their students. Each of us has the same amount of time given to us, and it's our responsibility to use it. Some of us may have full-time jobs, families, health issues, and more.

The biggest issue is making yourself write every day. Find out how author Kate Messner wrote nine books in three years with a full-time job, a husband, and kids. If you really want to feel like a slacker, check out novelist and writing teacher Les Edgarton's self-imposed schedule. He puts us all to shame.

Start today. It's Monday. It's September. There's no better time.

What are you doing to begin your writing year?


  1. You know, heading to this conference on Friday (ACFW) has given me a great excuse to by little gadgets and supplies I might ordinarily talk myself out of.
    ~ Wendy

  2. I'll be there, too! I'll be looking for you.

  3. Ack, if only I could clear some of this clutter! But you're right, the school year is a good time for a new start even if the kids are grown...

    Enjoy the conference :-)

  4. Thanks, Kenda! I've got a fair amount of clutter to get through here, too.

  5. So wishing I could go to the ACFW conference! I'll be here, writing while the rice boils. :) And while the kids scream. And the dogs bark. Television blaring. Dh working...

    Isn't it rewarding to be a writer? Lol.

    Have a great time at conference, Debbie!

  6. Thanks, Shelley! Actually, I misspoke to Wendy. I didn't catch that she was going to ACFW. Couldn't afford that one, but I'm going to a local Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference in Denver. Fun, just the same!

  7. Came over from Bloggy Moms. The kids have been in school for weeks now and I'm still trying to get into a writing routine. Sigh. So much good advice here!

  8. Thanks for stopping by! Love the illustrations on your blog--did you do them yourself?




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