|Gain momentum on a writing retreat|
So back to the momentum comment--basically, the writer was talking about how she had been having trouble writing and sticking to a schedule. But recently she was glad to have revised her first chapter and to be writing again. But she still wished she could get some of the momentum going that she had during our class/workshop.
Momentum--what does that mean for a writer exactly? What I think this particular writer meant was because she was writing a new chapter every week during the spring and summer, ideas for her characters and plot were constantly at the surface. She was really making progress on her work-in-progress. She was going, going, going forward with the story. This is one of the best possible things that can happen for a writer.
The opposite is when we're stuck. We are not moving forward in our WIP. We are editing the same chapter over and over again, or we work on the novel so infrequently that we can't remember where we are in the story each time we actually get our butts in the chair; so part of our writing time is spent reviewing notes and past chapters and trying to figure out where we are in the story. This is miserable for a writer.
So, what can you do to get momentum going in your writing life?
- Take a class--online or in person. WOW! offers several classes on writing for beginners to advanced, on general writing to genre-specific classes in young adult, crime fiction, memoir, middle-grade, picture books, and more. The classroom schedule can be found here. For writing classes in person, look at your community college or a local writing conference.
- Join a critique group--I have an awesome critique group, whom we've named Lit Ladies. Every single lady in this group works hard and wants to be published. Two of us have publishing contracts now, and the others have had positive feedback from industry gurus. A good critique group helps your momentum because they expect you to turn in pages from your WIP. They meet often and provide helpful feedback that makes you want to work on your manuscript.
- Plan a writing retreat--The Lit Ladies just went on a writing retreat this summer. That's three of us pictured above at Bennett Springs State Park near Lebanon, MO. We planned the weekend ourselves, including huge chunks of scheduled writing time to work on our novels and submission materials, like query letters and a synopsis. We all felt much more organized and productive after this weekend, and I am happy to say that I have a good start on a new mystery series for middle-grade readers now! (I plan to post more details about our writing retreat in the future.)
Get your momentum going if you are interested in writing middle-grade novels by enrolling in one of Margo's fall middle-grade novel classes. The beginners' class starts on September 7. More information can be found here. The advanced class (for writers who have at least three chapters of the novel written and a plan for the rest) starts on October 19. To view the syllabus for the advanced class, go here.