WRITING TIPS: Tiana Smith
Tiana Smith is a copywriter turned novelist who grew up in the Wild West of Montana. When she isn’t writing, she’s chasing after her ninja son, reading, or binging the Disney Channel. She has double degrees in Honors and English from Westminster College but wants to go back to school to be a lion tamer. Match Me If You Can is her debut novel, from Swoon Reads/Macmillan.
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IS THIS A KISSING BOOK?
Whether your book has a lot of romance or a little, most love stories follow certain guidelines. Build meaningful character connections and realistic romances by giving readers what they want. Learn all about stolen glances, flirty dialogue, and romantic tension in this step by step guide on incorporating romance in your writing.
TIANA'S WRITING TIP
5 Ways to Protect Your Writing Time Like a Mama Bear
I could give you all the writing advice in the world, but it’d be useless if you don’t actually have time to write. You’ve got a lot of things demanding your attention—school, work, church, family, friends, sports, music, extracurricular activities, hobbies, and about a bazillion other things I can’t imagine.
So how are you going to find time to write with all that going on?
You have to MAKE time to write. It won’t fall into your lap. You have to carve out times that will work, and then protect those times like your life depends on it. Don’t let anything else claim that time. It’s easy to put aside writing when something more fun comes along. After all, there’s always tomorrow, right?
WRONG. Because it’s a slippery slope, my friend, and once you start letting that time go to waste, it’s all too easy to keep doing so. If you only have twenty minutes to write, then don’t spend that time catching up on Instagram when you should be putting words down on the page. Small increments add up! Large chunks of time are like rainbows, and you can’t depend on them. Of course, that’s every writer’s dream, but we have to be realistic.
So. How do you make time for writing? How do you make that time as productive as possible?
1. Turn off the Internet. I actually stream music while I’m writing, so I can’t turn it off completely. But, I’ve installed Freedom on my computer to block out practically everything else. I can’t check Twitter. I can’t answer emails. Because writing time is sacred.
2. Say no. If someone asks you to do something during your writing time, it’s okay to say no. Treat it like the job you hope it’ll be someday.
3. Eliminate Time Sucks. This is the part where you’ll need to be extra hard on yourself. Look at how you spend your time and analyze the things you can give up. Is it a TV show? Time on social media? Get rid of everything you can.
4. Carry Around a Notebook. Whenever you’re waiting at an appointment, or you have down time between classes, take that notebook out and do some planning. Then, when you have time to write, you’ll be able to start right away.
5. Give Yourself a Deadline. Some of us work better under deadlines and some of us don’t. You do what works for you.
If you all these things, and you do them enough, then the words will start to add up. Half of writing is just sitting down and doing the work. So, finish what you’ve started and make the time to focus on your writing.
Respect your writing time. Fight for it.
If you don’t, no one else will.