Every author has things they do to help them write and be more creative.
Some of these are superstitions – like not changing their socks or underwear until a project is finished (and yes, that is disgusting).
Others are habits – things they do on a regular basis to ensure they have time to get their writing done, like setting a particular time of day. Or waking up like a vampire in the dead of night.
Some prefer rewards for writing – a chocolate covered Oreo for completing a scene, perhaps, or a trip to Krispy Kreme for a baker’s dozen when you finish a whole chapter.
And still others have things that help them with the actual writing itself. Maybe it’s a soaking foot massager. Or a case of vodka. Whatever keeps those creative juices flowing.
So I thought I’d share what I do to get my writing going, in the hopes that it will help some poor sod out there who is just getting started.
1) Respect the Time: For me, this is key. Like many writers, I also have a more-than-full-time job to contend with – my Evil Day Job (tho I actually rather like it). So I have to set aside a regular time to write. I’ve chosen 12-1:30 PM. Yeah, it’s not a lot of time, but when I’m on a roll, I can knock out 2k a day at that pace. My husband Mark is often at the gym at that hour, so it’s also more distraction free than other times of the day. But the key here is to have my butt in my chair, as close to noon as possible, actually doing the writing.
2) Find the Write Song: Yeah, okay, so it’s a bad pun. But it’s soooo true for me. I find when I have a song with the right emotional resonance playing in my ears, the writing just flows. Sometimes my stories are inspired by songs, but at other times it’s more subtle than that. I wrote a whole novella with the heartbreaking feeling from A Boy, A Girl and a Graveyard – an achy sadness that was perfect for what I was trying to get at in the story.
3) Keep Liquids Handy: When you are writing, you’re gonna want to get up for a glass of water (or maybe rum). So have a glass of something to drink handy, and maybe some snacks too. Minimize the things you’ll need to get up for once you get going. You could even do that astronaut thing and wear a diaper… but that might be taking it just a little too far. I’ll let you make that call.
4) Minimize Distractions: While writing, you’re also gonna want to organize the pantry, pay the bills, and check your Facebook feed. That’s your inner critic trying to distract you. So it’s good to have a way to block out those distractions. On the Mac, I use Isolator – it blacks out all the other apps except for the one I am working in. You can also go a little more extreme with Write or Die, where there are consequences to not making your word count in time, including having your writing disemvoweled. Yeah, it’s as bad as it sounds.
5) Remember Why You Write: You’re doing this because you love writing, remember? So have fun with it. It’s going to be hard sometimes, but remind yourself that this is what you were born to do. And set your sights on the ultimate goal – your finished story that you will send out to the world like a fledgling bird
to be shot down and killed enjoyed by everyone.
Now I’ve gotta run. I’ve got a mug filled with Wild Cherry Pepsi, my soaking foot massager, and an achy new song from Adele. It’s time to write like the wind.