One of the questions I’m asked the most, as both an author and a creative writing tutor, is
How do I actually get down to writing?
Let’s face it, there are a million and one plausible excuses not to sit and write. Most of them will be genuine- some will be sheer prevarication!
Not being able to write because you work long shifts, have children at home, pets that need walking, are ill…GOOD REASONS
Not writing because there’s a television show you’re keen to see or because you need to wash curtains- EXCUSES!
If you are having trouble knuckling down – especially if you’re new to writing, ASK YOURSELF IF THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO DO – if it is- read on!
Writing is a lot of fun, but you can’t escape the fact it takes discipline.
Here are my top 8 tips to getting down to writing!
Find your place.
Try working in different locations- at home, a cafe, a library etc- experiment with locations until you find the correct comfort zone for you and your writing.
Find you writing time and claim it as your own- even if it is only one hour a week.
Some people are at their most creative in the mornings, some in the evenings. If you are not tied by work hours, try out different times of day to write to discover when the words flow the best. If time is limited, label one hour (or even just 30 mins) a day as YOURS. Be brave enough to be selfish about it- this is YOUR WRITING TIME.
Get up earlier- stay up later- barricade yourself into your bedroom for an hour straight after work…whatever works best for you.
If you can’t write during your ‘writing time’- still keep that time as your own.
Sometimes the muse won’t come, however much you want it to. Keep that time as yours. Plot/plan/scribble/walk/polish your pens! Once you give it up once, it’ll be easier to give it up again- and you’ll lose it.
Turn distractions into stories
It you’re distracted by something- turn it into a short story or writing exercise. Make it work for you as a warming up exercise.
If you make a deadline- STICK TO IT
It’s so easy- especially before you’re contracted for work- to write with no deadlines. As soon as that happens you can be tempted to give up on your writing time. Make a deadline- stick to it.
Focus on the end result- think about what you want to achieve.
Always think of the big picture. This is your dream!
Keep your favourite food and drink handy.
Writing is hard work. Make sure you stay hydrated and don’t get peckish or your concentration will waver.
Allow yourself rewards. Bribe yourself if necessary!
Whatever it takes to keep that bum on that seat! Promise yourself a walk, a chocolate bar, a glass of wine for every section/chapter written
When the book is finished, treat yourself to that jumper you want, that trip to the takeaway, a meal out, a concert ticket… You will have earned it!
Having writing everyone,