Latest (and Last) Resident Writing Coach Post is Live at Writers Helping Writers

Writers Helping Writers

I’m back at Writers Helping Writers this week to talk about one of favorite productivity tips: writing first drafts out of sequence. (*gasps*) If it sounds like it might be an overwhelming or potentially confusing way to write, I don’t blame you for thinking so. But when approached in a methodical way, “skipping around” can help you take advantage of moments of intense inspiration so you’re constantly in the flow. You can even use it as a work-around for writer’s block. 😮

How does it work? And how can you make it work for you? Click here to read “The Art of ‘Skipping Around,’ or Writing Out of Sequence.”

On a sad note, this will be my final post as a Resident Writing Coach at Writers Helping Writers. It’s been an honor – and a lot of fun – to work with Becca and Angela for the past 2 years and to be a part of their amazing team of writing mentors. I wouldn’t call this a “farewell” to Writers Helping Writers, though, but rather a case of “see you later.” There’s always a chance I could stop by there in the future for a guest post. 😉

As always, feel free to leave comments on “The Art of ‘Skipping Around'” either at Writers Helping Writers or here at my blog.

11 thoughts on “Latest (and Last) Resident Writing Coach Post is Live at Writers Helping Writers

  1. Very interesting, Sara! I brainstorm and plot stories like that, moving setpieces and dialogues around and sometimes from story to story, though I do the actual writing in sequence.

    We’re advised to not write the parts readers don’t read. A radical postmodernist might not write the parts the author doesn’t want to write, and/or leave what they wrote out of sequence and with gaps! But I’ll leave that to braver souls!

    P. S. I tried twice to comment on WHW, but the comments vanished. Spooky!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve given the skip around advice myself, particularly in order to get through writer’s block and it’s great advice to help people get through NaNoWriMo where writer’s block can be a catastrophe. I oddly don’t use it myself. While I think it’s fantastic advice, it doesn’t quite work for me. If I have an idea out of sequence, I’ll jot it down so I don’t forget it.
    And in regards to the beginning of your article, I am so not a plotter. It takes away the magic of writing for me. I love the discovery of the story. Not long ago, I was writing a short story, and I had the whole story in my mind, so I thought I’d write an outline for the rest of the story. I haven’t touched the piece since. There’s even something about holding the story in your mind and having the excitement of getting it down on paper. It’s still unfolding, even if I think I know where the story is going. Outlining the rest of the story essentially took that excitement out of the story, and I haven’t been able to talk myself into returning to it again.
    I know there are writers who think everyone should plot. They probably find my method of following the story wherever it leads and watching it blossom as mystical as I find plotting. I can plot research papers or a nonfiction piece, but writing those types of pieces don’t intrigue me or capture my interest in the way that fiction does.
    It’s sad to hear that you are stepping back as Resident Writing Coach at Writers Helping Writers, but I hope it frees up space for you to pursue something else that interests you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s funny that you mentioned the plotting vs pantsing bit, Mandie. After giving pantsing a try with Storm, I don’t think I’ll do it again. It was a liberating experience, but I realized that if I don’t create an outline of some sort, I risk throwing EVERYTHING including the kitchen sink into the story and losing track of how overly long or complicated the story becomes. But if I have just a loose outline, with vague points that don’t go into too much detail, I should be able to balance the two enough for my satisfaction.

      And it’s perfectly fine if “skipping around” doesn’t work so well for you. But I’m glad that you’ve tried it before and see its benefits. The main thing I wanted to accomplish with this post was to give writers an option for when they do get blocked when writing sequentially. 🙂

      Yeah, it wasn’t an easy decision to leave WHW. But there have been a few times when my WHW and DIY MFA deadlines have coincided, and with my time for blogging and online activities still cramped, it’s been tough. I’ll miss writing for Angela and Becca, but it also feels like the right decision.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s amazing how many different pieces of advice I have found that I think are absolutely brilliant, and would recommend to other writers, but which simply doesn’t work for me. I wish I could plot. It appeals to my organized side and seems like it would really clean up the process, but it doesn’t work for me. There are lots of things like that though that I feel are worth passing on, because they make so much sense to me that I know it will work for another writer.
        It’s like finding your voice as a writer, everyone’s is different just as the path that gets them to writing. In the end, I think all the writing advice out there has the same goal, to motivate writers to get their pieces finished and polished to the best of their ability and to get it published if that’s part of their personal goal.
        I just wish there was a way to turn off the pressure we place on ourselves, and a pause button on the self-doubt. That would make the whole process a lot easier. 😃

        Liked by 2 people

  3. We were very lucky to have access to your brain for the last two years and will miss you, Sara! Thank you so much for being part of this program of ours and we definitely hope you come back for a guest post or two in the future! 🙂


    Liked by 2 people

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