April 12, 2012

writing fuel

This soy mocha (yes, I know there is still dairy in it), melancholy playlist and
one of my special writing spaces put me in the mood to write.

Whether I'm writing an article for work or penning my future best-selling novel (I'm working on it, folks), I have to be in the mood. While I find it easier to prepare for my work and blog articles, I still have to get myself in the right mind-set no matter what.

Here are a few tricks of the trade I have learned through the years to get me in the writing spirit:

•  Make time. This is the hardest of the tips to accomplish, but the most important. I have always been good at setting goals and deadlines for myself. However, unless I give myself time to do it, it will not get done. So what I do is create pockets of time in my week that will be reserved for working on my blog or novels. I don't always reach my goal, but I still take the time. However much time you can give yourself is good, too. If you like to set aside one or two times a week to write for eight hours at a time, great. If you prefer to break it down into an hour every day, wonderful. What matters is making the time.

•  Drink coffee. I drink more caffeine than is good for me, but I make a point to reserve my serious intake — namely a cup or two of coffee — for those times when I need a boost to write. Maybe it is the roasted aroma, biting taste or the hefty dose of caffeine, but something about coffee gets me in the mood to write.

•  Create a workspace. I have a few places where I know I can be productive: my desk at work, my desk at home, my sofa and TV tray at home and a couple of local coffee shops. I can't stay in one place too long, so I always have a backup of another place I can sit if I get squirrelly.

•  Take breaks. Here's a fun fact, I pace a lot when I write. It is a habit I started back in high school writing English or history papers. After completing a paragraph (which is actually more like a page), I would stand up, stretch my legs, and pace for a couple of minutes. I find myself doing this now at work and home. Once I finish writing an article or a page in my novel, I get up and pace. Doing this boosts the circulatory system and freshens up my mind. During the short break, I find myself thinking about what I will write next. By the time I return to the page, I usually have the next section worked out.

•  Eliminate distractions. Privacy is not a luxury I often have. When you have to write in public or around others, it is easy to become distracted. You can still find ways to give yourself and your mind privacy to think. I put on headphones, play some music (special playlists that do not distract me from my work), wear a hat (seriously, this helps me, and I don't know why) and turn off my Internet. I am quickly lost in my work, and the word count keeps growing.

Now it's your turn: What tricks or practices do you have to get yourself in the writing mood?

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1 comment:

  1. This all sounds a lot like my own routine--except for the pacing part. I sit very, very still and let my music carry me away. I can only work at coffee shops. Home is too loud, even when no one is around; distractions like the Internet call to me when I'm home. Great blog post!