Fast Company’s Art Markman has four suggestions:
Break it down
Make an outline
Just get something down
Write for five more minutes
If the list doesn’t tell you enough [and it doesn’t], here is the fleshed out version.
And I would add another suggestion.
Bake…[no, it doesn’t necessarily help you generate a bestseller, but it’s great for an afternoon coffee and who knows, the caramel experiment might just pay off in a fun blog post.]
My last post dealt with blaming others for my not writing.
Hey, whatever gets me generating text…»
But on a more serious note, I ran across Steven Kotler, who has a popular course called Flow for Writers.
So I looked further into the topic and ran across this informative interview. Compare your strategies to his.
Do you listen to music when you write, or do you prefer silence, or something else on in the background?
“…70 percent of the time I will listen to music with headphones so it’s right up in my ear. I will usually make one or two playlists for a book and I will listen to the same playlist over and over and over again…if I find a playlist that I kicked into a flow state with really early on in my process and was very successful I will keep using it because it will keep driving that flow.”
When you’re staring at the screen at 4:00 AM, do you just start clicking away? What’s going through your head at that initial moment?
“Even if the day before was a terrible writing day, I am so fired up to go at it again. I can be an absolutely miserable writer sometimes, but I wake up every day so fired up to do this.”
And finally, to put me to shame with all my finger pointing…
“When I wrote West of Jesus I had spent three years in bed with Lyme disease and I needed to tell that story to open the book, but I thought, ‘I spent three years in bed with Lyme but who cares? Compared to getting cancer or losing a limb, so what?’”
What’s your favorite music to carry you through your writing sessions?
What do you do to help you get into ‘flow’?
I’ve not been visiting my Twitter feeds lately.
It’s a good place to revisit for a little writer/creator wisdom.
But first, a 1:47 YouTube item.
The Power of Words
1. From Jon Winokur @AdviceToWriters
Always the same advice: learn to trust our own judgment, learn inner independence, learn to trust that time will sort the good from the bad– including your own bad.
2. Also from Jon Winokur @AdviceToWriters
“As long as you’re curious, hard-working and continue developing your craft, you can keep getting better for a lifetime…”
3 . From Maria Popova @brainpicker
“However meaningless and vain, however dead life appears, the man of faith, of energy, of warmth … steps in and does something.”
VINCENT VAN GOGH, born on this day in 1853, on fear, taking risks, and how making inspired mistakes moves us forward.
A few valuable posts on author’s voice…
Reclaiming My Writer’s Voice
by Kay Bolden
My favorite lines from the post:
The keyboard and the screen made it far too easy to distance myself from my words. To sink into sales mode or trope mode or campaign mode. When I write by hand, I lead with my body, not my brain.
Some favorite lines from this post:
Our writing is not genuine, we don’t feel like ourselves, or it’s stilted and mechanical — feeling more like a “I have to write” versus “I want to write.”
If you feel that way, you might be lacking your voice.
The biggest reason your writing feels mechanical and stilted is because it is. It’s not you. So when you read it, it probably sounds fake.
Your audience reads it that way it too.
I really liked this post from Cynthia Morris [Rally Your Courage to Write Your Book] on productiveflourishing.com.
Points that resonated:
- “…we often find a bigger reason for why we’re not writing: lack of confidence.”
- “I always encourage my clients to write a permission slip.” [=a ‘Yes, you can do this!”]
- “There are plenty of books in the world. But not your book.“
Added value to this post: It really does apply to any ambition to create.
Whether you share it or not, documenting and recording your process as you go along has its own rewards: You’ll start to see the work you’re doing more clearly and feel like you’re making progress. And when you’re ready to share, you’ll have a surplus of material to choose from.
**Not an affiliate link. ;-]
Interesting thoughts from people much smarter than I am…
#Follow your curiosity and passion. What fascinates you will probably fascinate others. But, even if it doesn’t, you will have devoted your life to what you love…”
You must once and for all give up being worried about successes and failures…”
Keep A Diary
Keep a diary, but don’t just list all the things you did during the day. Pick one incident and write it up as a brief vignette. Give it color, include quotes and dialogue, shape it like a story with a beginning, middle and end—as if it were a short story or an episode in a novel. It’s great practice. Do this while figuring out what you want to write a book about. The book may even emerge from within this running diary.