Some writers like to carve out a little space in their house or apartment for writing. It can really help you get into the groove if you are pressed for time, but it’s not necessary. As a single parent of 4 young children, my favorite place to write is at the island in the kitchen when the kids are watching their early morning TV shows. I keep all my notes in one notebook and write on a laptop so I am entirely portable at any time.
If you don’t have the luxury of creating a physical space to write, creating a mental one is the next best thing. Create a playlist in iTunes that reflects the mood in the story you are writing. This is possibly the best thing that I do to get myself writing, even when I don’t actually feel like it.
I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have a lot of time to write, so one of the things that I use to get the job done is a timer. Set it for 15 minutes and go—write the entire time and don’t worry if it is good or not. First drafts are about getting the story on the page, you can always edit it later. You’ll be surprised when you see how much you can get done-especially if you can work 3-4 writing blocks into your day.
When you are writing, don’t mess around on the internet reading Twitter, email or checking for IMs . Shut down your browser, set yourself as unavailable and set your word processing program to full screen. The world will still be there when your 15 minutes of writing are up.
When I am in the midst of a large project, I generally give myself a word quota for the day. I usually start out slow, with a goal of about 500 words per day and work my way up to 1000. Setting goals like this always serves to help me meet my goals faster.
Another idea for getting yourself into the zone is to have a personal totem of some sort. This can be anything from a hat or sweater that you wear only when you write, a mug, or a small stuffed animal that sits by your computer. Take advantage of anything that focuses your mind on getting words onto the page. Often the hardest part about writing is sitting down, once you are there, the words have no trouble flowing onto the page.
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