Gear Up for Fall

Wednesday, August 31, 2022
by Marcia Peterson

Summer distractions probably caused you to place some of your writing projects on the back burner. However, back-to-school time can offer a fresh start for writers. It’s a great opportunity to “reboot” your writing life.

If you’re unsure about how to get going again, a few strategies can help you gear up for the approaching fall months. Here are three ways to dive back in, create momentum and get excited about your writing.

Challenge Yourself

First, freelancers can build an active writing schedule with a self-created query challenge. Make a commitment to send out a certain amount of queries or submissions per week, starting now. This will get you in a writing frame of mind and, as you send more and more out, you’ll generate new assignments to work on.

To bolster your commitment to this endeavor, be sure to seek outside support. Sometimes you can participate in group query challenges that various writing sites offer. Alternatively, you can share your submission goals with fellow writers, then check in occasionally with progress reports to keep yourself on track.

Fiction writers can set up a daily word count challenge, or resolve to complete one short story per month. Like the freelancers, you can make your goals public with writing friends for accountability. At this time of year, you might also consider NaNoWriMo, which occurs every November. If you decide to participate, spend the next month or so planning your project and preparing your life for a successful novel challenge experience.

Take a class

Another way to ignite your writing life is to copy the kids and go back to school. Classes offer the ideal way to create structure in your writing world, which really helps when you’re getting back into production mode. The assignments make you focus on your writing, and working on new things gives you a boost.

Now is the best time to research your available options, in order to sign up for popular fall classes. Look through local and online class offerings for something that piques your interest—maybe a class in a new area of writing, or something related to your usual genre for renewed passion and continued improvement.

Enter Contests

Contests provide two of the most important things an off-track writer needs: a prompt (or theme) and a deadline. Winning is a great, but you can be proud of entering a quality piece regardless of the outcome. Just by crafting an entry, you’ve added something new to your body of work.

Spend some time now researching upcoming contests that may suit you. The idea is to pick at least one that you will enter very soon, and get that date on your calendar. You can take it further by making a plan to enter several contests by the end of the year. Contests are a great motivator, and lots of fun too.

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Check out WOW! Women on Writing’s upcoming classes and contest deadlines. Happy fall writing!


Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Wow. How did you know? This plays perfectly into tomorrow's post.

I would definitely recommend taking a class. That's no surprise coming from me.

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