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Seven Days to Better Writing

by Janice Hanna Thompson

What if I told you that your whole life could change in a week? You would sit up and take notice, right? The truth is, it can. If you’re a writer, all you need is one dedicated week to turn your career around.

DAY ONE: Spend a full day thinking about the topics that make sense to you (and your life experiences). Come up with a dozen ideas (for articles and/or books) to fit your life’s theme. Spend at least an hour free writing.

DAY TWO: Set major career goals. Write down where you hope to be in one month. One year. Three years. Five years. Write down your financial goals. Next, come up with a strategy to take you from Point A to Point B. Will you write fiction or non-fiction? Magazine articles? Devotions? Will you “brand” yourself by writing one particular genre, (say, romantic comedy)? Spend at least an hour writing a piece about how your life will change once these goals are met.

DAY THREE: Begin to diligently study the craft. When I first started writing, I picked up every book on writing I could afford. I read books on novel writing, magazine article writing, self-editing and so on. I participated in online writing courses, focusing primarily on my passion: fiction writing. My passion to learn captivated me. Inspired me. Motivated me. Perhaps you can relate. You’re ready to dive in. Do so…then spend at least an hour crafting the opening scene to a new book (or a magazine article that you hope to submit). Afterwards, look at it with an editor’s eye, weeding out passive verbs and making sure it has a strong hook.

DAY FOUR: Surround yourself with writers. There are a host of organizations you can join, both national and local. Look for a critique group in your area. Link arms with bloggers online. Once that’s done, spend at least an hour working on the book or article you started yesterday.

DAY FIVE: Incorporate fiction techniques in your non-fiction and non-fiction techniques in your fiction. Fiction techniques would include great characterization, plotting and strong themes. Non-fiction techniques would include writing tight, clear takeaways and compelling stories. Spend at least an hour adding these techniques to your work in progress.

DAY SIX: Figure out which publishing houses you would like to eventually target. If you don’t own the writer’s market guide, then join www.writersmarket.com. Membership is not terribly expensive and will open up a whole new world of possibilities. If you’re interested in writing for the Christian market, pick up a copy of Sally Stuart’s “Christian Writers Market Guide.” Look through every publishing house that fits your brand and your genre.

DAY SEVEN: Rest your mind, body and brain. Most writers burn out because they don’t take time to refuel.

There you have it, my friends. It’s going to be a busy week, but what wonderful prospects you will face at the end of it!


Janice Hanna Thompson is the author of over eighty books for the Christian market. She is known for her comedic inspirational romances, including her most recent release “The Director’s Cut.” She also offers freelance writing courses. Janice lives in Spring, Texas, where every day is a happy day! To find out more about her, visit her site at www.janicehannathompson.com or visit her on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JaniceHannaThompson.

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7 Responses to Seven Days to Better Writing

  1. Karla Akins says:

    I love practical posts like this. Thanks!

  2. rjthesman says:

    Thank you for this post, Janice. I have sent it to several beginning writers, and I know it will encourage them.

  3. Beth K. Vogt says:

    Janice,
    Great post — and I love how you addressed both fiction and non-fiction writers.

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  5. July 27, 2012

    Janice,

    A quick note to let you know I spent eight days going through this program (it took two days for one part) and it seems to have put new life into my writing day.

    Thanks much!

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