In the first post of the Write On Series, we talked about the holy writing schedule and some innovative ideas to consider when creating it. But what if you have your writing schedule ready and you sit down cradling both focus and ideas to your chest but then… nothing? I, for instance, have smashed face first into this problem many times. You are either a bit on the maxed-out side, or you are having troubles with writer‘s block or seeing a plain white sheet of paper or a document just doesn‘t add anything to the writing process. It feels boring or even clinical looking at it. Often feeling no spark from the setting in which we write can make us less creative and motivated. I hate it when that happens and I‘m sure you do too. That‘s why I‘m going to share with you the things that work for me every time! Before we begin I want to tell you that these tricks apply not only to fictional or non-fictional writing but to working on school assignments, writing blog posts and basically anything you want to write down or type up on the computer!
For paper users:
- Colour and glitter pens can change things up when writing. They add a lovely pop of colour. There are a number of studies that prove that using a multitude of colours stimulates brain activity and promotes creative thinking. Colours can motivate you and make you less tired thus giving you the energy to keep on writing. I like to use colour coding in my writing but my Writing in Colour System ,as I call it, is a topic for the next post.
- Another way to incorporate some colour into your writing routine is to write on coloured paper. I like to use pastel coloured paper and a lovely black liquid pen to write. It gives me un entirely different feeling than just fishing out regular paper and grabbing whatever pen is closest.
- Adding drawing or doodles to your pages can also significantly stimulate your brain and increase your creative levels. The only setback with doodling is the chance that you might get too distracted to keep writing or get too critical about your drawing skills and throw away the page, but try not to do that.
- Folding the paper in half helps me greatly when writing. That way I have less to fill out and the intimidation that sometimes comes from a blank page is cut in half. It gives me a sense of achievement when I fill out the part of the page I have to work with, and when I unfold it I feel more motivated to continue! I work mostly on A4 paper and I use this trick every time I feel stuck or unmotivated.
For digital users:
- Digital users can also incorporate some colour into their writing routine by changing the colour of the page or font. You can also use a brand new font, something whimsical, something beautiful and elegant that you love the look of on your page.
- Trying out a new writing program can also be very exciting. Is there one you have been wanting to try? Why not give it a go during your next writing session? A new writing program gives an exciting feeling of discovery to a monotonous writing routine.
- To those using good old Word, I would recommend switching from Print Layout to Full Screen Reading (lower right corner). I‘m writing this post in Full screen reading and I almost always do my writing sessions this way. It gives a good overview that proves very useful in terms of seeing progress. It is also great for editing just about anything. It also makes me imagine that I‘m writing an actual book and the pages go by one by one…
Works for both paper and digital user:
- Try writing standing up. Some famous authors that wrote standing up are Ernest Hemingway, Vladimir Nabokov, Lewis Carroll, Philip Roth, Thomas Wolfe… The list goes on. Some of them say that sitting down will simply kill you, others that the thought is sharper when standing up.
- But why stop at standing up? Choose a favourite author of yours and search the internet for their writing routine. Try going about your day the way your author of choice would. Follow their daily schedule as strictly as possible. Wouldn‘t it be exhilarating to live a day the way they would? Writing when they would? Go where they would if you two are from the same city? In a way, you would be living in their shoes a little bit.
- Envelop yourself in darkness! I often write in complete darkness. I lay on my stomach in my bed with a pen and a notebook and I write that way. Yes, it is impossible to see what you‘re doing and yes, reading what you have written will be a bit difficult. Why do I do it then? Because darkness deprives you of some of your senses and allows the mind to float. You don‘t see your room but you see your story. If it‘s also quiet you don‘t hear the noise but you can hear your character‘s dialogue. When I write in the dark I often find that my thought flows easier and I‘m able to be significantly more productive. You can also have your phone ready for you to type. If you are using your phone flip it upside down so that it doesn‘t illuminate and think of your story. Using a phone will most probably slow down your process. It‘s a lot faster and more effective if you use a notebook.
These are some of the tricks I use, but if you would like to see more please leave me a comment. I would also love to read you thoughts on these suggestions. Have you already tried some of them? Do you use some more often than others? What are your personal favourite writing tricks?
Read more "The Write on Series Part Two: Tips and Tricks"