be a recluse//a recipe for good writing

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Everyone knows that good writing does not come at the snap of a finger. Writing skills (large or small) will ebb and flow of its own accordance, and it is up to us to keep it going. I find that oftentimes when I have no time to spare, I get a flood of inspiration, and on those times when I have nothing in my schedule, my writing ideas have run drier than an arizona plain. After awhile, all this difficulty gets to one, and I decided to fix the problem. Here's what I came up with:

1. Keep a pen handy
When I have inspiration and no time, pens and tiny notebooks are my saving grace. I will bring one with me in the car and jot down a sentence or two to refresh my memory in later days. Or maybe a plot-changing scenario will present itself to me, and I will have to scribble that too. Sometimes it is as simple as a particular line that I like & don't want to forget. Doesn't matter what it is: write it down. Please don't rely on your memory: I speak from experience of forgetting the makings marvelous things.

2. Block out the world
The world is a busy place, and can be very distracting, especially to a visial person like me. Often I will find myself gazing out the window for several long moments, (thinking nothing of consequence) when I ought to be writing. Or I will sit down to write and get distracted by emails, pinterest, twitter, conversations with a sibling across the room about what's for dinner and get what I'm saying.  To combat this, I love going out of the house with my computer (or a notebook, for that matter. If I'm writing in a notebook, I use my own form of shorthand, and type it up later) and finding a good nook (coffe shops are fabulous) where I can easily get lost in my own little world. I would recommend bringing a notebook, binder, or notepad of some sort, though. This helps me stay organized. :)

3. Drink tea/coffee/apple cider/hot chocolate/anything hot
This is actually semi optional, believe it or not. Some people can actually write without something hot in their hands. do y'all do it? But for those of us who need something to nibble/sip at while we work, hot drinks are the best. Oh, and pastries are excellent too. Or both. 

4. Kill that internet!
If turning off your internet connection is what it takes, do it! Or you could go somewhere without free wi-fi. That's helpful. Just do whatever is necessary to avoid distraction. This falls in line with number 2,  actually.

5. Keep your body temperature at 98.6
It is important that while you write you stay at a comfortable temperature. True, if you are dripping with sweat you will be able to write that desert scene with experience, but really? You won't be able to think through your writing if all you can focus on is the sweat that is threatening to moisten your computer. The same thing goes for cold temperatures. I know you want to describe reasonably how cold your character is, but remember that you won't be able to do a productive thing with those trembling fingers. Not to mention all those typos that will litter your text.

6. Read
I know it's been said countless times, but it's worth saying again: you are writing from experience. You must have some knowledge of how good books are written. How do you do that? Read good books. It especially helps me to read a book with a similar feel/theme as the one I am writing.

7. Turn up the tunes
To block out the world most effectively, get ready to turn up those heart-wrenching strains and lose yourself in the music. You want your emotions raw and ready to be transferred to that paper, so crank it up!

Those are the main things that help me, but there are several others. Do you have anything you would like to add?

1 comment

  1. Such great tips! I will probably be using this as reference! I think the hardest thing for me is to actually sit down and make the time for it! DO you have special time set aside for writing, or do you jut write whenever it strikes you to do so? Sarah


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