What would you put in a survival kit? The Red Cross has a list of suggested items on their website. Writers may never face a natural disaster, but writing challenges can threaten the life of their current projects or even their careers. Here is a list of tips that will help you cope with any writing emergency.
Time is a writer’s water.
Water is essential for human life. What element is most essential for a novel writer? Time. The best ideas and most amazing turns of phrase need to make the journey from your mind to the page. If you don’t take the time to write, you will never be an author.
Making the time to write is easier said than done. Many would-be novelists have a day job or other responsibilities that absorb much of their attention. Others face distractions as they work from a home office. How can you carve out time to write from your busy schedule?
Inspiration is a writer’s food.
Food gives your body the energy it needs to accomplish things. If the premise of your novel doesn’t inspire you, you will not be very motivated to write on a regular basis. Worse yet, your lack of inspiration might translate into your prose. What fuels your imagination? Some people love to travel; others respond to the group synergy created in writing groups. Do whatever makes you energized to continue toward your goal.
Friends and colleagues are a writer’s medications and a first aid kit.
Every writer has weaknesses. These are like pre-existing medical conditions that you treat with medication. One way to know if you have a persistent frailty is to get feedback on your writing from colleagues and friends. You can address your issues in writing classes or by completing writing exercises.
Unexpected injuries can often occur in a disaster situation. The Red Cross encourages keeping a well-stocked first aid kit with your survival kit. Even accomplished writers experience unexpected difficulties that affect their ability to write. Traumatic life events or changing work conditions can create writer’s block.
Experience is a writer’s personal documentation.
The final item is one that people often omit from their disaster packs, yet it is one of the most important. Personal documents can help identify you and your family members during a disaster. You might need these items for your insurance policy, to obtain aid, or to prove your identity.
Some fans can identify a book by their favorite author from its first few pages. You see, novels aren’t just about the story. Writers pull from their life experiences and play to their writing strengths. For example, John Grisham, who is an attorney, draws on his law expertise in his best-selling legal thrillers. Oscar Wilde exploited his talent for creating biting witticisms. John Updike was an expert at metaphors.
Also, think about your life experiences and knowledge. Can you use your understanding of a topic to round out a character’s interests? Can you use your travel memories or research to add dimension to a setting? The more you engage with your novel, the more genuine it will become.
Are you currently writing or planning to write a novel? Prepare yourself for a difficult journey. The goal is not to start a novel, but to finish it. By equipping yourself to cope with adversity, you will ensure that you can endure whatever problem comes your way.