Your characters are waiting for you! Follow these tips for mindful writing.
Do you find that there is more to do each minute of the day than there are minutes in the day? Do you feel that you could stay up all night and not feel caught up…ever?
You are not alone.
We’ve all been there. We need to immerse ourselves within our story world to create magic within out work in progress. Yet our phones are ringing and beeping, someone is knocking on the door, and the bills are waiting to be paid. Not to mention all of the social media sites we need to keep current on to build our author platform. What is a writer to do?
There is more pressure today than there ever has been to accomplish everything on your to-do list, immediately.
What’s more, the barrage of information has increased exponentially since the internet’s growth. How can you relax and write creatively with these pressure?
It helps me to listen to or read a beloved author’s discussion of his writing practice. Additionally, reading quotes from authors is helpful. Paris Review is always a muse for writers. This site jumps deep into the writing process as you will see here with an interview with Don DeLillo.
While I’m not a famous writer (yet), I have jotted down some tips for you that I find conducive to getting my wip whipped into shape. Hopefully, you find them helpful as well.
I added something I had heard Michael Chabon mention while he discussed his writing practice (see the Great Reads Page in the menu). Instead of listing the music in your iPod under style and artist, make a genius list for yourself. Pick the songs that you personally find joyful, contemplative, angst-ridden or any other emotion that you need to provoke for your writing. Use these lists as needed for the soundtrack of your writing. I am doing the same and have started an Excel sheet coupling the music lists with the style or “vibe” of writing, story or article I need to write.
While writing; forget punctuation; it brings the right (logical) brain into a left brain more creative work; go back when you are not “in the zone” and get picky about punctuation and grammar.
You will be surprised at how mindful your mindless tasks can be.
If you are not finding time to write due to pressing tasks, take 30 seconds out to look at a picture that you’ve picked to draw out your protagonist. Still working on some mindless task? Make it mindful by looking over your outline.
Back at your writing desk, start with a page that you felt good about and flip through to a spot that needs work. Do this in stages of concentration blocks; two minutes, on and off. Don’t write on the breaks for at least twenty minutes. Then, allow yourself the option of continuing to write. It’s just an option. Purely up to you.
What this does is eliminate the guilt that every writer faces when they are not writing as much as they hoped for. Instead of worrying as you run through your day, take that mindless task and use it for thoughtful consideration, concentrating on areas of your manuscript that need some polish. Work on the secondary characters or plot points that need some tweaking. Doing this as you fold the laundry, as an example, will eradicate the guilt and leave you wanting to run to your desk and finish what you had started.
Remember to have your smart phone or moleskin handy when you do this.
Important: Run through this article on writer’s block. These tips can help you get further and deeper into “the zone” and your sentence and story structure will both be better for it.
There is far more coming. I am testing a number of things for the security tutorial that I am preparing for you. I am also working with some incredible people on several intensives in which you will benefit. But in the meantime, I would love to hear of tips that you use to increase writing time during your busy day. Leave your comments in the box below.
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