I admit it. I am no expert on writing. I’m a youngin’ with much to learn. However, I do a lot of writing, whether published or not, and I’ve got some tips of my own that I’ve been learning along the way.
I’m all about getting in the zone (although I know that it’s not always possible). When I’m writing creative pieces, it helps me to get in my “writing mood.” I used to just try to force it regardless of where I was or what I was writing on. After writing a sufficient number of blog posts and papers and projects for different classes, I’ve learned what gets me into this frame of mind the best.
*Write about what’s on your heart.
Obviously, this doesn’t really apply for stodgy papers that are forced upon you in class. There’s only so much you can do when you’re required to write a seven page paper strictly summarizing a modern philosopher’s ideas. This is more for your own creative pieces, like a blog post, or a novel, or a poem, or whatever else you can imagine you might write.
It may seem like a “duh” piece of advice to you, but honestly, there’ve been times where I’ve tried to write about something that I thought people would like, but that I had no personal connection with whatsoever.
Think about what you’ve been learning lately, whether it be about life, about people, about God, about love, about hate – anything at all. What’ve you been learning in life?
Or maybe you wanna write about something that’s happened to you recently – or forever ago? A heartbreak, a mistake, a miracle, a moment, an achievement, a failure.
It could even be something you don’t understand, and it’s been scratching at your soul – like heaven and hell? Or the purpose of life? Why people do what they do, or what it would be like to fly?
The possibilities are endless, so write about what’s on your heart – what you’ve been pondering lately. Then there is nothing to force, only words to spill.
*Brainstorm. Just a little.
I used to never brainstorm. And it does work sometimes. But not all the time. Lately, I’ve tried to do it every time I sit down to write a blog post – but only a little. There’s no need to plan every sentence.
There’s no need to prepare each idea. Try brainstorming no more than the main points of what you’re writing – or maybe just the main themes or ideas. Once you have the meaning of what you’re writing, whether it’s abstract or straightforward, your thoughts and sentences will naturally flow from the fountain of the central essence of the piece.
*Learn your atmosphere and go to it.
Sometimes, sitting in my house just doesn’t do it. Actually, most of the time, I need to get out to get my engine running. I’ve learned that I need a peaceful atmosphere, and to me that means no business, not many people, coffee, and either dim lighting or sunlight. Now, when I want to get some serious writing in (and reading, too), I like to get up and go to a coffee shop where I know I can set up my temporary hut and drink as many cheap and scrumscious coffee drinks as I so desire. Other times, I like to go to a secluded area in a park, with only my journal and pen.
*Let the technology alone.
No, really. It’s so distracting. Set an alarm clock on your phone when you need to leave, and put it on silent and out of sight. Close any web browser if you’re using a computer and don’t give in to the Facebook’s beckoning.
*Put on some fitting tunes.
I really love music. A lot. I listen to it whenever I get the opportunity to – especially when I want to focus. Since my atmosphere of choice if a calm one, I make sure to bring my computer and play my personally created Spotify playlists. I’ll play some Rivers & Robots, or Andy Zipf, or whatever else sooths and clears my mind. Fitting music never fails to lift me into the world that I am creating with my writing.
These tips are not coming from an experienced, 50-year-old, famous writer, however, they’ve helped me greatly and I’ve seen an improvement in my productivity and creativity! If they don’t work for you, blame it on me and scrap it all. Still, I’m confident enough to encourage you to try it – both for writing and for reading! Do these not work for you? If not, than what has?