Do you remember the first time you sat down to write an article, a blog or something of relevance? We have all been there: sometimes the words are there and just flow smoothly, other times they do not. So what’s the secret to keeping the creative juices flowing every time you sit down to write? How do you block out distractions, fit writing into your schedule, stay focused and nail it?
There really is no secret formula to producing consistent work but there are a few things to consider. Just like an athlete, practice makes perfect and repetition on a regular basis trains the “writing muscle” that we need to put out great thought provoking monologue. This muscle, the mind, works like poetry in motion only when one remains disciplined to the task.
So how do we stay disciplined and focused?
Here are a few techniques:
PICK OUT THE RIGHT TIME
What time of day do your bio-rhythms seem to fire on all cylinders? Are you better during morning, afternoon or evening hours? Are there days of the week where you are more creative than others? Many writers are more productive earlier in the day before the distractions list begins to populate and the clutter builds. Everyone is different though. You really have to know yourself and the trigger points that make you tick the loudest.
When the time is right, you will know it. Perhaps it takes an external factor to motivate you such as reading a great piece from another author. Other times it just comes from nowhere, at the spur of the moment, and you make youself sit down and let the thoughts out on paper. If a calendar deadline helps then let that work to your advantage. Whatever motivates you, identify those data points within yourself and put them to test. Sooner or later you will figure out your best time to write creatively.
FIND YOUR GROOVE
First of all, you have to get to a place physically, mentally and emotionally that promotes great thoughts. Usually, my mind works best when I am physically comfortable and am not feeling the strains of mental or emotional fatigue. Personally, if I did not have good sleep the night before I am usually not worth a flip. Get your rest and be at peace with yourself. We all know where that space is in our world. It may be in your living room, kitchen, outdoors or at the office with the door closed… somewhere it clicks…we all know those places and times so just own it.
DEFINE YOUR SUBJECT AND OUTLINE IT
By outlining, I don’t mean that one has to make a professional outline before beginning the piece but the main idea must be pretty clear. Once you have a few bullet points the opening paragraph if the toughest part. Make a great introduction to the material and then let it flow.
It’s also important to do a little homework about what you are writing about. Research the facts and choose interesting information that you want to share. Remember, if you captivate and hold the reader’s attention you are big league.
Organize your thoughts in a way that helps transition from one talking point to the next.
KEEP YOUR MIND CLEAR
What does it take to get your brain in gear when you feel like writing? First of all, getting rid of distractions is a must. Turn off the phone, unplug from social media, close the door and crank it out. If music is your thing, a good set of headphones is a great asset to own.
Once you have the good stuff going you will probably find yourself writing in bursts…it’s a good thing. Don’t expect to be able to sit down and nail every sentence with no need of editing. That just rarely happens. You may have to get up and walk around, write down a few thought provoking ideas and hit it a little later.
DON’T GIVE UP
Just keep going when you start feeling discouraged and the fear of imperfection creeps in. Rough drafts are intended to be “rough”. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Review your progress, make changes and compliment yourself.
Set yourself up with a “To Do” list of progress goals and put them on a calendar. Note each day that you hit your goal, especially those days that you really blast it out of the park.
BE READY FOR ACTION
You never know when that creative spark may kick into play. The thought process may be triggered by a song, a picture, something you hear someone say, an article you may read…may different things can stimulate the mind so it’s a good idea to have method to record and document your thoughts. A note book, phone or tablet is always utilitarian in recording notes.
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