3 Ways to Find Your Writing Groove

Have you long dreamed of finally writing that novel, but are stuck on exactly how to start the process?

Especially for first-time writers, it can be overwhelming to actually sit down and start — only to find that it’s more difficult to get words flowing than expected.

Here are 3 helpful ways to find your writing groove:

1. Examine Your Daily Routine.

Are you most productive in the early hours of the morning, before the rest of the household rises? Or, are you a night owl who thinks best after a full day of work? The key to forging the writing routine that works best for you is to cater to the hours of the day you know you are feeling the most positive and the most creative. Doing this can keep you from feeling discouraged or out of whack early in the process, and can encourage a love for the writing process.

2. Write As You Speak.

As much as you’d love to emulate Hemingway or Didion, you must embrace your own unique voice. A big mistake many first-time writers make is to force sentences that “sound good” to them, instead of simply letting thoughts flow. The key? Write as you’d speak. Try some free writing exercises. While writing, express your thoughts as you would to a close friend. The idea is to get words on the page — editing comes later.

3. Embrace Feedback.

The author Zadie Smith may extol the idea of isolating yourself to develop your true writing voice, but I think feedback is invaluable for writers who are just starting out. In fact, I’ve seen it proven in working with my authors. Getting feedback in a writing class or with a writing coach can help you spot where you need to improve, whether it’s in how you construct sentences or how you imagine story worlds. Surmounting these challenges is a powerful way to grow into your own style.

Are you a first-time writer who has problems finding your own way in the writing process? Talk to me below!


photo credit: JohnONolan via photopin cc

7 comments on “3 Ways to Find Your Writing Groove

  • Hello Ms. O’Connell,

    I am a teen author — an aspiring author, to be exact. Do you have any advice for teens or students with busy schedules who aspire to write? Any advice would be very helpful and appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Grace, aspiring author.

  • Great, as always, Diane! Enrolling in a class or enlisting the help of an editor also keeps writers accountable. It keeps their eyes on the goal. That was particularly huge for me starting out.

  • Actually so helpful. #1 sounds pretty self explanatory but you’d be surprised at how frustrating it can be to get those “writer’s wheels” turning. Thanks. Will check out other posts here.

  • Simply lovely diane. Helpful in a comprehensive way. I have always dreamed of writing a book and I’m just now dipping my toes in the water. It’s quite intimidating, I must say. These tips seem easy enough to really commit to, however. I’ll let you know how it goes, lol!

  • Another way to improve your writing is to improve your READING list. Always keep your mind in tip top communication shape. It can make a huge difference. And, I also recommend reading genres similar to yours, just to get into the mindset.

  • Well, I figured out a long time ago that my best writing time is early morning. Sometimes late afternoon (3 0r 4 o’clock works as well) At night I am tired, stressed and pretty much braindead so even reading is a chore–but I do it anyway because I love it. The problem is at those times that am motivated and have energy and focus to write I am at work, getting ready for work, driving to work or driving home in a long stressful commute. That is a conundrum more difficult to navigate than the intricate plot of my novel I am presently weaving.

  • Quite great tips. I know I’m not very good at writing at all, but your encouragement and support for all first time authors has helped me through my humble attempts at writing my novel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *