by Akshta Khurana, Age 13, India
Artwork by Lucy Zhang
Just when you make an effort to finally sit down and write that big, nosy dragon of yours decides to sit right above your head and shout biting remarks. Worse than that, this moody creature turns up at the most unexpected times to offer resistance to your buttery-smooth flow of writing. But if you’re determined to stick to your writing, you have to keep your dragon quiet, and doing so can be a big chore.
Although, according to me, Polly Wants To Be A Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published could possibly be the only ultimate guide to get you through the chore, I have made an effort to put together six tips to silence your literary dragon that I have learned from Ms. Whitford and the experience of being a young writer:
1. Write down the top ten reasons why you want to become a writer.
Keep this list safe and read through it once in a while. This list will not only keep you motivated but will also serve as great comebacks to the mean things your dragon says.
2. Put your ideas on paper.
Don’t keep your ideas stirring in your head for too long, as they might get into the hands of your dragon and be gradually eaten up before you even realize it.
3. Warm up everyday.
Stick to a writing warm up routine. Doing it daily will give your writer-brain a boost, stimulate ideas, and help you to get used to writing first drafts without your dragon interfering.
4. Beat your “Negative Nelly” with affirmations.
Constantly reminding yourself of your goals and empowering yourself with positive thoughts can easily quiet down the Negative Nelly.
5. Don’t read what you’ve written while you write.
Don’t start reading your work before you finish it because this can make your dragon noisier. You can turn off your computer screen so that you don’t see what you write or use productivity tools and applications such as WriteOrDie.com.
6. Set deadlines.
Setting a time limit for finishing your writing projects and sticking to it will compel you to keep your dragon quiet and prevent procrastinating.
Remember, your literary dragon is an obnoxious yet precious partner in writing and can be your ticket to success, but only if it is trained and tamed to be constructive.
Akshta says, “I have recently named my literary dragon Flyngie ‘Flyn’ Diaz. She needs to be bribed with good amounts of chocolates and candies to shut up and let me write.”