This week I cleared my vision board. It serves to help me to create what I want over the coming year and as has a list of stuff to do. In my case, as a creator, a list of books and courses.
This week I edited and sent off for two proof books – one a big book of journaling prompts (no more prompts!!!) and another book in my little book series – Manifesting Magic.
In truth, both of these have sat on my computer for a while, and because it is so hot here, I completed them both this weekend. Just like that!!!
And yes, I did have to make myself.
I dug out my memoir to add to but found that I couldn’t switch my brain from editing to cathartic, free-flowing writing. Yikes! So Finding My Wild and I have a date for August to be completed.
I adore creating but find that I’ll just keep writing stuff unless I prioritise editing, publishing and marketing.
Of course, not everyone like me loves to write and create, and many find it hard to make the time. I always think that if you have something that has to be done, you will find the time. Just as I do for my quarterly accounts this week.
Finding your writing flow
Writing in my world can take many forms, from journaling (practically every day), blogs, books, courses to content for others.
But I have days when I stare at the screen or journal, and nothing seems to flow. But before I tell you what I do to move it on, I’d like to ask you…
How do you like to write? In a crowded café, hot chocolate and biscuits to dunk, or in a peaceful place with no noise or interruptions?
If you have read any of my blogs, you will know that I am the quiet writing type. Sometimes I will play loud music before I write, but more often than not, it’s silence that works best for me to focus.
On a tangent, when I do other creative activities, I love music, which strangely helps me focus.
When you want to get your daily writing done, what happens? Do you stare at a blank screen, or have you planned it all out, and it’s way to go? Perhaps you are a pantser, and it’s fingers to the keyboard and away?
It might be that I am actually writing a book. Therefore, I need to focus on getting a particular chapter done. As a great fan of outlining and planning, I make life easy for myself by having some sort of outline ready to write around. That’s not to say that’s what I will write. Often I will look at the original outline and as it works itself through the sausage factory of my mind, and I ask, does that make sense and flow? I reflect a lot and then crack on.
Where does your inspiration come from? My writing inspiration often comes in at the strangest of moments. I may hear something on the news (not that I watch it anymore) or read something totally disconnected to writing, but which sends the data train down my neural pathways, picking up passengers and then the words flow. I’ll get more when journaling or when out walking, or perhaps just daydreaming.
You need to look at how you get things done, where and how you find your inspiration.
Try this focusing method
What if you are new to this writing malarkey and find focusing difficult, then what?
I have a way of getting things done, and it’s this. I just do it. Like this blog, I got up, let the dogs out, grabbed a cuppa and sat to write. That’s what happened this weekend with the two books I wanted to be done – I just did it.
However, when it comes to my memoir, which kind of scares me, I will use this method to get me into the groove and flowing.
Try this focused writing time method
Decide to write and find yourself 90 minutes
Turn off distractions – no Facebook, mobile, put a note up on your door (go away). My dogs can’t read, so I simply pray that they won’t bark…
Set boundaries – tell others to leave you alone for 1 hour. I used to have to do this with a very annoying ex-husband who thought it amusing to interrupt me
Clear your desk – just scoop it all up and move it somewhere else, out of your range. I learned this from working in manufacturing and implementing a clean desk policy. At first, I rallied. I like my mess. And now, I hate mess, and no, I don’t count crystals and my unicorn as a mess.
Look directly at your screen – focus on it, make sure there is nothing in your direct vision but the screen
Set a timer – you have 10 minutes to plan what you are doing. Write out some headings or key points – just to kickstart this process. You can mindmap this or write a list, do what works for you.
If you are writing a blog or a chapter, for example, this structure could work for you:
- The story
- Key points/question you are answering
- Call to action
- Links or hooks
Reflect for 5 minutes (that’s 15 minutes gone)
Now write for 30 minutes. When you need reminding, glance at your blog/article plan (No editing or critiquing, just writing)
Stop and stare. Do some breathing exercises – four in, hold for four and four out
Write again. Write for another 20-30 minutes
Then breathe and edit if it’s something you have to get out. I like to stop after an hour and read what I have written for clarity and further inspiration
This is when my anal side comes in, and I have to do these…
- Spelling and grammar
- Overused words
- Stuff you don’t need
- Checking flow
- Ensuring the key points are made
- Adding in references or missing things
Then I have to go for a walk or do something else. Later, I am writing a book, I’ll do it all over again
This method can be adapted to suit whatever you are writing. The key thing, as I always say, is to just write and see where it goes.
Did you add up the timings??? Would you go over the 90 minutes? Don’t. Always take breaks. It helps with the creative flow.
And finally, an app that works for me is brain.fm.
If you are writing a book, book in for a strategy session, take my WRITE! Course and get the book.