it’s a date: getting in the “write” mood
Updated: Jun 23, 2021
Writing a blog every couple of weeks has been wonderful but at first it felt very daunting and, I confess, Steph had to drag me on board kicking and screaming. Now I enjoy setting aside my writing time and trying to come up with something new every other week. I believe this is partly down to creating a writing routine that sets me on the right track.
With the announcement of our new callout for writers, I thought it would be the perfect time to share what I get up to in my pre-writing set up. I hope it helps some of you on your way and maybe we will get to see some fabulous submissions from it.
So without further ado, this is what I get up to (unintentional rhyme):
1. Set up a date with yourself.
Carve out a specific time and date where you know you can sit down with a cuppa, no interruptions, and interrogate the weird little crevices of your brain. I find that if I don’t pre-organise this time I will end up writing last minute and late at night. I have a diary where I keep track: it feels more official then, like I have this pact that I want and need to keep.
2. Set time for your procrastination.
Now I have a time and date set to write, I schedule in some time for my procrastination. This is a guilt free period where I can get out all the things I am prone to doing when I am meant to be working. These mainly consist of eating, playing animal crossing, watching a stream of random videos or playing the piano. This also puts me in a happy and creative mood.
3. Lock your phone away.
I normally write in the living room and my phone stays firmly away from me in my bedside cabinet. This way, I can’t get distracted by little beeps or give myself excuses to flick through social media. With the temptation and distractions gone I write quicker, I am more productive.
4. Set up your space and make it priddy.
This is my favourite bit! I LOVE STATIONARY. I make an inviting area where I want to lose myself for a while. I clear the table, then I get my favourite notebook, highlighters and I arm myself with a pen that I am convinced makes my writing look better. Last of all I will get my water or tea, making sure that I can’t lift my butt off the chair for anything.
5. Word Vomit.
I believe the more sophisticated term is journalling. I will word vomit all of my anxieties, revelations and dreams in my notebook for 5 minutes before I ‘officially’ start writing. Not only does this free up my head but it also leaves a space for those creative ideas to expand.
Once again in my notebook, I write down what I want to achieve in my writing session. If I am writing the blog I will outline the key points that I need to expand on later. This means that when I open the lid of my laptop to get typing and I am confronted with a blank page, it doesn’t feel like a cavernous hole where imagination goes to die. It feels like a spring board for me to jump from. It also means that if my brain wanders or tires I can look at the plan and navigate back to it.
7. Set a timer.
I find that timed writing is when I am most productive. I know I have a small window to write which means I can’t be tempted to edit as I go (the death of most of my writing) and if I get stuck and the process is feeling painful today, I know I can stop soon. Win win. I normally give myself an hour; any longer and I bore myself, any shorter and I get frustrated that I have just begun. This hour means that I leave writing on a high and want to come back to it again.
Then you’re off. No fancy way to say it, you’ve just got to write. Staple that butt to your chair. It doesn’t matter if what you come up with is nonsense, just have fun whilst you splurge your creativity down, and I promise the more you write, the more sense that splurge will make.
Good luck. Have fun. We hope we’ll get to read some of your work soon.