A few days ago, I completed the magnificent milestone of completing the first draft of my upcoming book, #UnleashTalent, that will be released this summer. Although my journey still continues and editing still remains, I have learned more than I could have ever anticipated. During the process, I had many moments of beautiful writing fury, where I could not type fast enough to get all of my ideas on the page. Yet, on the other hand, I had times where I would daze into my computer screen and struggle with articulating to find the right words. I have blogged for the last 3 years and these writing feelings are not new to me, but when you write a book, the highs and lows of writing are felt and noticed to a whole new scale.
Therefore, through my love of writing and all of its trials and tribulations, I have found the following tricks that have helped me throughout the continuous process. Whether you write for fun, blog, write books or share in the writing process with your staff and students, I hope these tips and tricks can bring an extra level of joy and dimension to you and those around you.
Trick 1: Create or locate a space to write that is inviting and comfortable
I will literally write anywhere. I write in airports, in hotel lobbies, at family gatherings, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, and in my home. Through trial and error, I have found out the mix of environmental and physical factors that I personally like when I am writing. I have found that, for me, my ideal workspace is by a fire, with my essential oil diffuser on, while sitting in a comfy chair. Although this is not always doable, I have adapted some of the conditions around me to make it work. For example, I love feeling the warmth from the feeling of an authentic fireplace. Within our current home, we cannot build a fireplace, so I purchased an inexpensive electrical fireplace in our living room to help give me the vibes I was aiming for.
With that said, I do like to mix things up, too. I regularly go to the public library and read in any available chair, or check-out a room in the library for free. Some writers love to work in silence, some with minimal noise or others thrive with music or a variety of background noises around them. It is crucial that you find your personal preference, but also work to adapt yourself to different surroundings as well. Many writers and bloggers also like to go to Starbucks, Panera, or a local bakery, coffee shops, or eateries. Although I will write at these places, for me it is not ideal. It is crucial that you play around with different spots, locations, if you can, to find the best space for you.
Trick 2: Surround yourself with inspiration
At my home, the chair I sit in to write in our living room is directly next to a bookshelf filled with my favorite books and authors. When I am writing elsewhere, I throw in a few of my favorite books into my purse or backpack to take with me. For me, being able to be surrounded by my writing mentors give me the inspiration to keep going, to keep writing.
Do you have a favorite quote or book that you can keep nearby your writing area to lift you up when you need it? What inspires you?
Trick 3: Read, read, read!
The most avid writers are the most avid readers. During your writing growth, continue to find the time to read, listen to podcasts, listen to audiobooks, and to learn. Continually shifting your thought process and growing from other authors and experts will do everything to make you better, not only as a writer but as a person. All-in-all, a commitment to reading will help you become an even better and more fulfilled writer.
Trick 4: Start collecting journals, paper, and post-its
Although I love typing in the digital world, there is something to be said about writing on paper; it is an understated art. I keep a journal around me at all times, so I can write down anything that comes to mind: Quotes that I see or hear, the advice I learn from others, bible scriptures I read, stories I want to share, and more. Having a journal keeps me in touch with my own life while having a working document that I can always refer to in order to gain more motivation for future things to write about or to weave pieces of my life together. I also use Google Keep in a pinch to add in photos, thoughts, or other tidbits that I want to look at another time. Also, when in doubt, use a post-it, or twenty. Post-its never lose their luster.
Trick 5: Dedicate times to write and commit to it
One of the best tricks of all is to purposefully set times to write and to follow through on them. I build in writing times like I build in time for my fitness workouts. Each week, I look at my Google Calendar and plug in a few times (or more) to write, based on my current goals and projects. On most days, my schedule is completely booked, early morning to evening, so on weekdays, if I can plan for a few 15-30 minutes of writing, I am over the moon. On weekends, I know I have more time, so I will plan accordingly. The important thing is to be realistic. Start planning for a few 10-minute writing sessions a week to get yourself into the routine. You will find on some days, those 10 minutes will turn into much longer periods of writing, and you could get swept away for hours. While on other days, you may have a difficult time writing at all, even if it is just for ten minutes. That is okay. Start the habit, and commit to it.
Trick 6: Find your workflow
All of these tricks together will create your unique workflow. The space, the noise, the time allotment, the environment around you, and beyond. Piecing each of these parts together, and finding what works for you, and what does not, will help you gain more of a confidence in writing. This, paired with the ability to persevere when conditions are tough, will assist you in focusing more on the writing itself, and less on the writing block. Writing blocks will still happen, but to know your triggers and to how to get yourself out of it can bring more joy to the adventure.
What tricks do you use to get into a writing flow? What other pieces could I add below? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
My upcoming book, Unleash Talent, will be released in the Summer of 2018 by IMpress and DBC (Dave Burgess Publishing), Inc. Stay tuned for future blog posts to get more sneak peeks of ideas within my book.
When my book is released, I will share more information here regarding book resources, materials, book study information, and where to purchase my book. #UnleashTalent