What gets you writing? We’ve got some simple tips to share. No one said writing was easy, but here are 5 ways we try to keep ourselves motivated to put pen to paper and write.
1. Be quiet.
This is probably one of the hardest parts of writing: finding and taking the opportunity to be quiet. In these quiet moments it’s easy to get caught up in those busy-work thoughts: grocery lists, phone calls to make, bills to pay, etc. To help you focus that quiet time, think of just one small part of what you want to write about…a character’s voice, a particular setting, a symbol that you’re thinking of developing. Narrow your focus so that the quiet time is productive. And set a timer. This will help fend off taking a nap, but also give a reasonable frame of time for this period of reflection to happen.
2. Get outside.
Fresh air and movement are always a good way to get ideas moving. But pick a new venue, other than the usual coffee shop, as a place to take in some perspective. Your local farmer’s market, a road trip, even a trip to the grocery store can be a place to find something that might inspire a character or a story.
3. Think small.
Knowing the big picture is definitely important, but to avoid getting overwhelmed by the big picture, try focusing on a single moment, action, even word or phrase. You might be surprised at how much comes from studying the single action of a character.
This is both the easy and the hard part. Take what you’ve learned from being quiet, getting outside, and thinking small and start writing. Don’t worry about the quality or whether or not it’s useful to you because ultimately all writing is useful. No editing, just writing.
Read what you’ve written. Edit, revise, rethink. Writing is a process. And don’t ignore the idea that, from time to time, NOT writing is probably one of the best ways to give your brain a rest and lead you to fresh ideas later.