Blogger's Note: I previously published a variation of this post for a short-lived writing blog I shared with a few friends. The information still stands, though, and I thought it was worth sharing with a bit of updating. Enjoy.
Whether I'm writing an article for work or penning my future
best-selling novel (it'll happen one of these days, 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
• 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: How do you get the creative juices flowing so you can write some sweet, sweet scenes?
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