Over the past few months I’ve started experiencing a strange feeling. It’s the type that makes you hot under the collar, and it’s all to do with my writing.
At a coffee shop last week I hurriedly washed down a hot chocolate just so I could get home and carry on writing. Sometimes the feeling is so overwhelming that it frustrates me. But all is not lost, I’ve been learning to manage it better. Hope this works for you.
(1) Visualise the finished book
While you may not know what the book cover looks like right now, visualise. Visualise it sitting on the shelf of a book shop or part of someone’s personal collection. I’ve been known to pop into local bookstores just to see where it would sit snuggly. It’s the end result that drives us on
(2) Don’t sit in silence
Some say it’s best to stay quiet about your work until it’s finished. Here I mean your nearest and dearest. By way of general conversation I’ll keep my family, friends and work colleagues up to date. Talking about my writing, my progress spurs me on. It keeps the fire inside me burning. By talking I feel in touch with my work and this excites rather then frustrates.
(3) Get fresh air, get me time
I find time out is key and that’s not time away doing chores. Taking walks, any distance or in any weather opens up the lungs and refreshes the body. The stimulation results in fresh ideas flowing through your mind. Ideas that can come from the sounds of the outdoor.
(4) Change your scenery
Try not working from the same fixed location. I don’t use a laptop much for writing and we have one of those all-in-one computers. I variate the locations for when I want to write. To compensate for not using a laptop I often hand write sections and chapters. To really mix things up I have a collection of notebooks. Some are yellow paper, some grids and I’ve even used a dot notepad. But the most important thing is to work in different places, indoors and out.
(5) Writing blocks don’t need to last hours
My holiday for the festive period started on 23rd December. From this date to when I go back (2nd Jan) I identified the days that I would dedicate to editing my draft novel. What I find is writing in shorter blocks help. I could sit for a couple of hours at a time but in the past found it has a negative effect; but one size doesn’t fit all. My preference is 45 minutes at a time or maybe a set number of chapters. After which I’ll take a break, play a few games of table tennis if the kids are home. Making writing enjoyable and in manageable chunks.
(6) Never think why it’s taking so long
I started writing my current (and first) novel in December 2015. As I type these words I have finished the final draft which has gone through many iterations. I am hoping 2020 is publish year. But over the past few years I’ve often heard the words book finished yet? Why is it taking so long? While this can often deflate you, don’t be deflated. Don’t say to yourself it’s taking me too long but say look how long I’ve been committed to something, I’m proud of myself!
Every person has a story in them, you just need to put pen to paler and let it out. #happywriting