Tips and Tricks That Will Keep You Writing
No matter how much we adore our hobbies, the temptation of lazy hours in front of the TV or social media can still trump our natural drive to run with our passions.
I've been a writer forever, and while I found no problem creating a whole poetry book at nine years old, thereafter I went through phases of stubborn hiatuses. I would go through months or even years without pen to paper for my own enjoyment.
When I don't write, my dreams become nightmares, my emotions are a total zoo, and my anxiety peaks. Even my fingers ache with the urge to glide across perfectly white pages that scream for the fulfillment of experiences and epiphanies.
Even though I always felt like a writer down to my bones, I couldn't find the discipline to even keep a regular journal, and this always further discouraged me from my passion. I used to think if I didn't bust out my diary every night before bed, improv poetry at a moment's notice, or triumph in memorizing literature, I couldn't call myself a real writer.
Over the years I have redefined almost everything I thought I knew about writing.
Determined to find more space and freedom in my life, I eventually discovered a peaceful lifestyle that changed my attitude about everything. A valuable lesson I am learning is how to let go of rules I once absorbed like a sponge, but that never served my soul.
I came to realize that a person is not defined by temporary actions, but by the energy they radiate.This gave me the freedom to feel however I wanted without needing to fit in a defined box of routines. This freedom, more than any advice or inspirational quote I ever read, finally sparked my drive for writing again. Once I dove back in, I found ways to inspire my creative flair without needing to satisfy the imaginary criteria of others.
So! Whether you feel like a writer, or if you just want to write as a hobby to release tension, I seriously encourage you to explore your dancing thoughts and jot them down. When we see our real feelings spilled out all over the table, our truest needs become clear, giving us the space to move forward in a positive direction for our lives.
Enjoy exploring these easy and inspiring tips!
1. Find a journal you adore.
I tried so many times to write in old spiral notebooks and torn up hand-me-down diaries. If you haven't noticed, I can get pretty wordy, and this is after I trim off a lot of the fat for you guys! But attempting to save paper by using literal junk didn't entice me at all, and writing felt like a drag. Then, a friend gifted me with a beautiful, padded, purple journal with all the frillies I could ever want. I was giddy just holding my new notebook in my hands, feeling the palpable potential of so many hungry blank pages. Holy cow, I should have acquired a journal I loved ages ago.
2. Cozy-up the perfect writing nook.
Wander around your house and feel out a spot that you can really snuggle up in. Stuff this corner or arm-chair with blankets, pillows, incense, tapestries, pictures, extra pens, gorgeous lighting, anything that creates an inviting atmosphere for you. Make this space your own so that it calls to you. Nothing feels better than dropping your coat and shoes at the door, giving your cat some quick love, and bee-lining to the comfiest corner of your home. Give yourself the perfect place to collapse into, and you'll want nothing more than to retreat there with your new beautiful notebook.
3. Subtract distractions, add focus.
Make sure that your cozy writing nook is distraction free (or if it's more feasible for you, pick a nearby spot outdoors, which gives the added bonus of connecting with nature for even more inspiration). Tip off roommates or your spouse that you're settling into some you-time, and while you're at it turn off your phone and keep it in a separate room if you can. You may choose to put on some relaxing music that helps you focus on the present moment, or open the windows to let the natural breeze flood the room. Cater to your ultimate focus formula, and be sure you know you deserve this time to yourself to explore your mind and express yourself honestly, because this is how we heal.
4. Play around with stream of consciousness writing.
You're not letting that pesky writer's block get ya down, right?! I've written ode after ode to Writer's Block, as we have a love/hate relationship. I enjoy a challenge, but I also enjoy not feeling stuck in my own brain fart forever. "Stream of consciousness" means writing continuously without worrying about structure, grammar, propriety, anything. When nothing clever is coming to you, just start writing. Keep writing, and writing, and writing - no censoring. You'll be blown away by all of the thoughts zooming around in your head that you never knew to acknowledge. Tapping into thoughts once buried by the anxiety of writer's block helps clear your mind of all the garble, and offers up loads of good writing material in return.
5. Stop the mental mind games.
Our brains get lazy, and we get really good at letting them. When we allow our thoughts to endlessly run in circles about the task at hand, we end up easily convinced that scrolling on our phones for twenty minutes is a much better use of our time, but we are wrong. When you listen to that voice that tells you you're too tired, lazy, hungry, sleepy, sneezy, or whatever, you'll never get anything done. As soon as you recognize that the games in your head are taking over, refuse to let them! The more you think, the less you act. Stop thinking, march over to your cozy nook, pick up your new purple journal, and get to it. End. Of. Story.