The Key to Successful Writing

key

Someone asked me the other day how I had managed to just finish writing my 5th book in a little over 5 years.

My answer was simple. The key is sleeping-in.

No, not me.

The children….

 

Since we homeschool we have the luxury of doing that.

Since we have made the sacrifice to educate our children at home, I am very blessed with a relaxed schedule!  Over the past 5 years most of my writing has taken place from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.  I say most, not all.  There are plenty of times that I write when I should be doing other things.  On rare occasions entire Saturdays have been spent researching, writing, editing, re-writing, editing, and re-writing. On even rarer occasions I will write in the still of the night. But for the most part, I work in the mornings while the children are asleep.  All is quiet, except for an occasional jingle on the collar of our Maltese. My mind is intensified by the aroma from the Kona coffee. Words flow. Life is good.

But “sleeping-in” is not really the key.

The true key to successfully accomplishing anything worthwhile is consistency. Be consistent. Keep at it.  Don’t give up. Make time for writing. A little here and a little there….A few hours a day doesn’t amount to much, but a few hours a day equal 10 hours a week. And 10 hours a week add up.

Some say they can only write when they are inspired. Forget that. Set time aside every day to be inspired and then write.

I am not sure who to credit, but they exuded wisdom by saying,

If you want something bad enough, you will find a way.

If you don’t, you will find an excuse.

(Now, if I can just take that same concept and apply it to exercise…..)

Let me hear from all you writers out there. What has been “key” to your success in writing?

A Sure Foundation

Did you ever sing as a child the song about the wise man and the foolish man?  I love that song.  “The wise man built his house upon the rocks and the rains came tumbling down…..”  While the song is catchy and fun to sing, there is more to it than that.  It teaches a profound truth of building upon a sure foundation.  For every believer that sure foundation is Jesus Christ and Him alone.  Many try to build their life upon sandy foundations.  But sadly, it is to their detriment.

When it comes to teaching my children, I must remember to build upon that same sure foundation.  That is one of the reasons I love homeschooling.  I am able to choose curriculum that builds upon Truth.  When I was given the opportunity to review a writing curriculum by Rebecca Celsor, from The Write Foundation, my curiosity was stirred.  

Rebecca began her career in the public school system teaching language arts.  After several years she took her experience and began to apply it to those students who she had the most vested interest in – her own children.  This was the beginning of her homeschooling journey with her three children.  Her journey continued as she began to teach other children creative writing in Christian co-op classes.  As she developed her own curriculum she realized that when it comes to writing, failure is almost always because the basics have NOT been learned.  The Write Foundation takes students back to the basics and lays the foundation needed for success. 

There are three levels in The Write Foundation curriculum.

Level One – Sentence to Paragraph Writing (ages 11-13)

Level Two – Paragraph Writing (ages 12-15)

Level Three – Essay Writing (ages 14-17)

I choose to review Level One with my children.  The goal of level one is for students to become well thought-out and organized writers.  Each lesson can be used for reluctant and average writers building confidence in them.  But it is also creative enough to be used for children who excel in writing.  Below is a description of Level One from their website.

  • Lesson plans formatted in an easy-to-follow system 
  • Reinforces the construction of a basic sentence 
  • Improves sentence structure with basic grammar and figures of speech 
  • Teaches the organizational process of  brainstorming, outlining, rough draft and editing. 
  • Quickly develops more interesting, informative sentences 
  • Steps to writing the basic paragraph 
  • Progress to writing two-paragraph papers 
  • Guidelines, checklists and correct structure 
  • Creative poetry writing 
  • 30 lessons with lesson plans for either a one- or two-year format

The entire Sentence to Paragraph Writing Curriculum for teacher and student includes a Spiral-bound Teacher Instruction Manuals with Lesson Plans, One set notebook-ready printed Worksheets (200 single-sided pages), One CD with additional resources.  The curriculum is $100.  The website does offer options for ordering the manuals, worksheets and CD individually as well. 

 I have modified this curriculum somewhat to fit our needs (isn’t that another beauty of homeschooling?) but overall we have all enjoyed the simple, easy to understand lessons.  We will continue to use this in our home throughout the semester.   

To learn more about The Write Foundation visit their website.  You can click here to see what others are saying about this product.

 

“He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock,” Luke 6:48.

 

Disclaimer:  As a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew, I received The Write Foundation Level One free of charge in exchange for an honest product review.   I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.