1. What Tools / conditions Do You (Really) Need to Write?
We’re going to look at your writing habits to identify the most basic bare essentials you need to write stripping away any faff.
Faff includes – perfect stationery. The right mood / right time of day. Trying to build that dedicated space / tidy up this / take dog out/ put on a load of washing before writing.
• What tools do you use the most to write now?
Microsoft Word - ability to dictate, can change page colour so as to help me read (I'm dyslexic)
Googledocs, dropbox and icloud - to save files to the cloud
Also write in a notebook with pen
• What are your writing props?
Laptop, notebook, pen
• Where do you write?
In my studio, in my kitchen, in the library, somewhere quiet
• When do you Write?
When I have things to write about
When I am not at work
Often towards the end of the day, when I am reflecting
Now look at your list and answer:
• What props can you ditch? What is faff and what is actually useful?
I actually don't need much in the way of physical props to write, for me it is more about the headspace to be able to write
Now list your bare essentials to go portable.
2. Build Your Den
Now you know what the minimum writer’s kit you need is, and how you spend your time it’s time to build your den.
Look at the opportunities in your week where you could make time to write
• Commuting – I can be researching in this time by listening to audio books
I can be thinking about my own writing, and making plans
• Screen time - When I am on the bike at the gym, I could be using my iphone to research opportunities and read writing-related resources
• Breaks at work – I can use my lunch break to write/ and or research e.g. read, listen to audiobooks, research opportunities, read writing resources
Tip – Writing isn’t all Writing
To really use your writing time to the max expand your definition of what writing actually is because it’s not just word count. There may be times that writing itself is difficult but you could:
• Read or listen to audio books / podcasts in the car
• Work on character
• Take an idea for a walk – can you walk at lunch times?
• Have a creative break eg a family day out to an inspirational location
These are all valid writing jobs. Remember that the part of us that creates doesn’t respond to bullying but to play.
3. Monster Proofing Your Den
Now when you go into your writer’s den you’re going to need to switch on your creative head quickly to get stuck in. You don’t want to waste time beating yourself up about how you’re not good enough, so you’ll need a kind threshold ritual. A take your shoes off before you go in sort of thing. Why? Because the second we get ready to write, out jump all the demons telling us we can’t, shouldn’t, who do you think you are.
So, how are you going to ward off your demons?
Choose a thing to do / find a quote to read or write your own to help you get into the writing zone Demon free.
What’s your starting ritual?
Take 5 deep breaths
Remind myself that it is good for me to write and writing is important because
- I am unique and no one else does, or is going to, write the same thing as me
- It helps me get clarity on my own life, form a clearer understanding of who I am and how I got to where I are. I learn about myself, and can sometimes bring closure to issues.
- Writing is a good way to share
- Sharing stories is a good way to form connections
- Writing can raise awareness and bring about change