Writing is a challenge that it will test your patience, your knowledge and your self belief. So when you want to start writing it’s best to approach the challenge from a place of strength, by removing distractions that can get in the way. The best tools you have are the one’s already at your disposal, but you need to find the right time and space to use those tools.
Find your nook
I find it very challenging to write for my day job, not just because the subjects can be dry and yes, sometimes boring, but also because the space is very bland. White walls and partitions do little to inspire my creative side and the constant distractions that are part of office work like emails, meetings and conversation can take me out of the zone.
Writing at home can have its challenges as well…
The best thing for any new writer is to find a quiet place, somewhere that you can surround yourself with comfortable things and pleasant memories. Particularly if you are going somewhere dark in your writing. I have limited space but I have managed to find one little nook, a little chair in a corner where I can lock the door and do my own thing:
Find your jam
Sound can create as much atmosphere as a visual space. A lot of literature says go with classical, or a form of white noise. The tonal variations are often limited, meaning your brain is not trying to process new information in a constant loop of distraction. I find environmental ambience is great for getting me in a quiet space. You can even get awesome literary themed audiovisual, like this one from my favourite Youtube channel ASMR rooms:
On the odd occasion I will need an emotional lift to get me to the right head space in a particular section. This is when I turn to my guilty pleasure, 80s hair metal, nothing quite gives me a lift like this awesome Def Leppard classic:
Find your notebook
Yes this means a portable device that you can carry around with you, bar napkins and the back of you hand do not count! Inspiration, like the rain, falls when it may. So dust off the old spiral notebook or get yourself a good app for your phone.
My notebook started to get a bit crowded…
So I decided to go down the digital path. Both Google and Microsoft have great apps that will interact with your portables devices and home computer. I carry a tablet to make sure I never miss an important thought and also, so that everyone knows that I am a writer, ready to break out into a fit of screen play scribbling any time.
Find the time
Time is something we all struggle to keep in check, it passes, regardless of how we feel and that is as it should be. If we had unlimited time we would have unlimited problems to solve, as it is, we are lucky that we only have time to focus on the things that are important to us. The great James Kirk said ‘if something is important you make the time’:
It is that simple, yes you may not have the perfect environment in which to explore your inner most thoughts, but you probably never will. Try setting a small time goal or word goal each day, that way you have clear small steps on the way to your larger goal. If you are in the initial writing phase of your work, go for a word goal. Any words, just get them on to the page. If you are in an editing phase set yourself a time limit and make sure that limit is the amount of time you can easily focus on you work.
You can’t write good characters if you don’t know who you are, so before you even start finding your space have a think about yourself. If you can confidently say to yourself, ‘yes I am a writer’ then you are on the right path. If you’re not confident, find your space and scribble until you are sure.
Thanks for reading!