These past couple weeks I’ve found myself catching onto a good rhythm with my writing, and in doing so I’ve also learned (or realized) a couple things I’d like to talk about:
1. Finding your Fortress of Solitude
It’s not just about finding somewhere you can feel isolated (the keyword here being feel), but also about finding somewhere that’s consistent. For me, I’ve taken to exiling myself to the basement not just to write, but also to marathon easy-viewing content that’s easy to slip in and out of (such as documentaries or TV shows – in this case Doctor Who). At the same time, I make sure to have a cup of coffee on hand to sip if I’m not busy with the keyboard. It’s all about keeping myself busy.
Essentially, consistency equals writing fuel, i.e. if I’m in the basement with my laptop at the ready, a coffee on standby, and a DVD on ‘play all’, I’m in full writing mode.
It might be different for you. Maybe you go to a local cafe or library, or maybe you have some other means of filling the void when you hit a speed bump while writing, but what’s important here is that you find somewhere that can act as your office space.
On that note —
2. Make writing a job
I’ve often said that inspiration is something that can’t be forced, and I still stand by that, but as long as you’ve got ideas or a story that needs fulfilling or fruition, you owe it to yourself to make good of your writing.
For myself, I’ve been writing Monday through Friday from 12 pm – 5 pm. In that five hour period my mind is on writing. I’ll take necessary breaks to get some fresh air, but for the most part I get a decent amount of work done (I’m averaging 1000 words a day).
Five hours is a very doable goal for me, but it doesn’t have to be that much for everyone. It can be four hours, two, one, even thirty minutes, but devoting a set amount of time to writing on a daily basis can be a big help. Even if all you accomplish is one sentence or nothing at all, you’ve at the very least committed yourself to your writing – you’ve made the sacrifice.
Everyone has their own way of doing things, some completely different to what I’ve said here today, but this is what works for me in the here and now. Perhaps tomorrow it won’t tomorrow, but when it comes to writing I need to live for the moment.
One of the hardest parts of writing, for me, is finding courage to face the blank page. It stares back at me like the foreboding black monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. A very simple and easy trick to getting some desperate motivation is the Dice Trick!
You’ll need the following tools:
-A Pair of Dice
Simply roll the dice. Whatever pair of numbers you get, that’s how many pages you’ll have to write today. So you may very well get two sixes, telling you that you have to write 12 pages today! Or, you can get a pair of snake eyes, and you’ll only have to write 2 pages.
The point of this exercise is to simply get you writing. It’s easy, and rather juvenile… but it works for me. Especially because I’m the laziest person on the planet, and I need people to motivate me just to tie my shoes.
For more desperate times … just add more dice.
You can find other tools like this in the Writer’s Toolbox link, at the top of the page.