Those (Writing) Games We Play

by Heather Kelly, Founder, The Writers’ Loft

As writers, it can be hard to take ourselves seriously. We write during the in-between times—when the house is quiet because no one else is awake, before and after our day job, and in the car waiting for a child to finish their school day. It can feel like writing is an aside, the first thing to ditch when real life rears its ugly head.

Taking our writing—and ourselves—seriously is the most important step toward success.

But how?

By doing something that might seem counterintuitive.

We drive more effectively toward our goal, and take ourselves more seriously, when we treat our writing like it’s a game.

Take a moment to consider how Jane McGonigal turned healing her brain from a concussion into a game. And then turn your writing into a game.

  1. Choose your best author self. Jane chose the Concussion Slayer. What super identity are you going to become when you sit down to write?
  2. Identify your writing goal—your epic win. Identify the quests you need to go on and achieve to get there.
  3. Assemble your team: your allies. Let them know what your everyday quests are and let them hold you accountable. Talk through your plot problems with your team. Lean on your allies when you get lost.
  4. Activate your power-ups. Reward yourself when you do something that will progress you toward your writing goal. Wrote for an hour: +1 Butt in Chair. Read TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS? +10 Knowledge Boost. Sent an ad to Book Bub? +10 Marketing Ninja Points.
  5. Continue your quests, vanquish writer’s block, and slay those plot holes all the way to your epic win!

You’ll trick yourself into becoming a happier, healthier writer.

So, while you’re waiting to join me in playing Wizards Unite, go get your writing EPIC WIN!!

Heather KellyWhile exploring the fabric of the universe by writing YA and MG novels, Heather runs The Writers’ Loft, a supportive writing community in Sherborn, MA. She believes that writing is too hard to do alone and encourages anyone who needs a critique partner or a quiet place to write to stop by the Loft. Look for her 2017-2018 YA new releases: Blindspot (Book 1 in the AfterFlash Series, as HG Kelly), and The Surge Chronicles, co-authored with Ansha Kotyk.

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