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How to keep on writing every day?

NoInk   |   31 January 2020


Are you a struggling writer? Here are some tips!


Just write. No buts or ifs. JUST WRITE.

Well, that’s it. I already gave you the easiest tip you could apply to yourself kung isa kang manunulat (baguhan man o hindi), at isang malaking kalbaryo sa ‘yo ngayon ang magsulat araw-araw. Wow! I hope it is just that easy, right? But in reality... it’s not. Writing is like walking on fire with your bare foot while eating your favorite ice cream. 


 (pic. cdto. pinterest.com)

You can’t decide if you’re having a lot of fun or you just love to punish yourself. In other words – Masokista!

Remember this famous quote? No stars are born, they are made. 

Same as writers... Hindi isang araw ay nagising si Binibining Mia (Author of I Love You Since 1896) o si Lloyd Cadena (Author of EX-Rated) na best-selling na ang mga libro nila. Of course, not. Walang magic sa publishing world. We can assume na nakailang drafts din sila bago nag-send ng final manuscript, ilang gabi ang pinaglamayan nila just to beat the deadline, at napakaraming “ayoko na” ang nasabi nila bago nila nakuha ang title na “Best-selling Author”. And it would never happen kung huminto sila sa pagsusulat.

But before we discuss how to keep on writing, let’s seek first the common reasons kung bakit ba talaga humihinto sa pagsusulat ang mga writers / authors:

  1. Zero Confidence. Feeling mo walang magbabasa dahil walang kwenta ang istorya mo. Too afraid to fail and too afraid to be judged kahit wala pang nauumpisahan.
  2.  Trusting too much on motivation. “Ay, wala ako sa mood. Bukas na lang.”. Guess what? If you rely too much on your motivation, you can kiss your writer dream goodbye. You will be surprised na inabot ka na ng isang taon at wala ka pa rin sa mood para magsulat.
  3. No Fixed Schedule. When motivation doesn’t help you, you must have this steady reason to continue writing, and that’s your unavoidable schedule! Kaya kung wala ka niyan, wala ding sure productivity. Simple as that.

With that said, now we can think of some ways how we will keep on writing every day. Let’s start!


#1 ALWAYS ASK YOURSELF “WHY???”.

Before you start writing, always remind yourself why you are doing this in the first place. This will fuel up your motivation and not just give up. Think of yourself as the protagonist of a story, kailangang may goal para manalo sa dulo. Whether it is to be the best-selling author, to have a full-time career, or to change the world through writing, never forget the reason WHY you need to spend hours/days spilling some blood while typing and doubting yourself too at the same time. 

(MORE TIP: Write your goal in a piece of paper at saka ipaskil sa working space mo to constantly remind you of it. Yung kitang-kita dapat!)


#2 THE SACRED SPACE.

They say that as a writer, you should be able to write in any place and at any time. Yes, that's true, but if you’re planning to hone your skills by writing every day, you need to have your own working space for that, wherein apart from writing, you can cry, laugh, yell, or even pray to plead for creativity na alam mong walang iistorbo sa ‘yo na kahit sino. In this space, ikaw ang hari o reyna! 

(MORE TIP: Make sure na may space ka to do stretching o kahit ilang hakbang lang. Plus points kung may nakikita kang green leafy plant near you to relax your eyes. Mas okay kung may bintana to breathe some fresh air and see kung may araw pa o wala na. You don’t want to feel like a prisoner habang nagta-type, right?)


#3 DISCONNECT. I REPEAT…D I S C O N N E C T !

From where? SNS o Social Networking Sites. Let’s admit it, before we do things, kailangang i-check mo muna kung may bagong post si crush, baka may nag-like ng post ko, or gusto mo lang mag-scroll ng news feed mo for another five minutes na nagiging five hours in reality. Hanggang sa magugulat ka na lang na ang tagal tagal mo nang nagso-scroll sa news feed mo dahil wala ka ng nagawang bagong chapter. That’s why, if you’re serious about your goal, start disconnecting yourself on your SNS even before you go to your sacred space to work. Leave your gadgets sa kapamilya mo o sa kuwartong malayo sa working space mo. And what about your laptop? Easy! DISCONNECT YOUR LAPTOP FROM WI-FI! Treat your story as your ka-date. Give your FULL attention!

(MORE TIP: Ask your family members to change the Wi-Fi password once you’re inside your sacred space para kahit ma-tempt ka, disconnected ka pa rin. Focus nga, eh!)


#4 CREATE A HABIT…THEN A LIFESTYLE.

According to James Clear research, it takes 66 days to build a habit. Kung may susundin kang routine sa loob ng 66 days, it will be hard for you to let go of it pagdating ng panahon. And ladies and gentlemen, that’s what we want right now – to keep on writing hanggang sa maging part na siya ng iyong lifestyle!


So how to create a habit of writing? 

  • Set your writing goal as low as you can. You don’t want to hurt yourself sa unang araw palang, right? Be realistic in setting your first goal. Consider your current lifestyle lalo na kung hindi ka naman full-time writer (you’re a student o may trabaho kang iba bukod sa pagsusulat). Let’s say sa isang araw, ang goal mo ay maka-tatlong sentence or fifty words. You’ll write more than that, of course, but if you reach your goal eh ‘di successful ka na! This feels rewarding and challenging. Kapag alam mong kaya mo na, set the bar a little higher pero huwag sobra.


  • Schedule. To be consistent in creating this writing habit, you need to set and follow your schedule. If you’re a full-time writer, mas madali kang makakapag-set ng schedule dahil hawak mo ang oras mo. You can finish all your other tasks first, and once done – start writing. Or before mo gawin ang ibang tasks mo, magsusulat ka muna. Priorities!  But it is a challenge kapag estudyante ka o nagtatrabaho. You might want to consider writing your stories sa phone or paper habang nasa biyahe ka or break time n’yo. Ang mahalaga rito ay may set time kang susundin at hindi kung kailan lang available or bahala na si Batman. And don’t forget to think kung gaano ka katagal magsusulat bago mas-start. (15 minutes? 30 minutes? 1 hour?) Make some time din sa ibang bagay para naman hindi feeling kalbaryo sa 'yo ang pagsusulat. 


  • Writing Cue. It’s like when you get up in the morning, what is the first thing you must always do bago ka gumawa ng kahit ano? Same as writing, set your writing cue na kapag ginawa mo na ang bagay na iyon, your whole body knows na magsusulat ka na. It can be after you drink your morning coffee, after you take a bath, or after reading some chapters of your favourite book. This is like the gun fire in a marathon; you have no choice but to start running.


  • Progress Tracking. Magpaskil ng calendar near you o kahit sa phone calendar mo lang, put a BIG bloody red mark each day na nagawa mo ang goal mo. By that, mas aware ka kung may productivity ka o wala. No red marks mean you’re drifting away from your goal. Time to spill some blood, Mr./Ms. Writer!


  • Leave yourself hanging. Don’t end your writing day with a complete sentence; rather, end it with a comma or a half-spelled word. Bitinin mo ang sarili mo kahit alam mo na ang susunod mong isusulat. Bakit? This will help you na makapagsulat kaagad kinabukasan pagharap mo sa unfinished work mo yesterday. Walang blank moment pagkaupo mo, diretso sulat kaagad dahil alam mo na ang kasunod sa iniwan mong eksena, dialogue, o narration. If the idea is too much and you’re afraid na makalimutan mo ‘yun, outline them in a piece of paper before getting up to call it a day.


  • Set your alarm twice each day, on repeat. If you decide to write five days a week, set your alarm on repeat for five days. No excuse for you na hindi mo na-set ang alarm mo kaya hindi ka nakapagsulat that day. Naka-pre-alarmed ka, e. And don’t forget to put your alarm on snooze, okay? Lastly, you have to set a second alarm each day (two or three hours away from your first alarm) just to make sure na nagsusulat ka na talaga. Walang takas!


Now, are you ready to take on that ‘writing habit’ challenge for sixty-six days?


It’s a wrap!

Of course, everything we plan in life seems easier said than done. But, hey! You need to start at something today. Pwedeng ito na ang sign na hinihintay mo para ma-save mo na ang SUPERDUPERFINALNATOPROMISMANUSCRIPT2020. docx  mo. 

Pero ang pinakaimportante sa lahat…kailangang mahalin mo ang pagsusulat.

They said…. Love conquers all? Ganoon din sa larangang ito. Kahit gaano kahirap, marami mang humarang, at kahit parang imposibleng makamtan – YOU WILL STILL KEEP ON WRITING!

And to help you write every day, we are so excited to invite you to write here in NoInk. From stories, poems, articles, name it! Pwede ‘yan lahat dito! At malay mo, istorya mo na ang hinahanap ng ABS-CBN Books. Naks!

See you, Future Bestselling Kapamilya Author!

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