One of the most difficult parts of sitting down to write is exactly that… sitting down to write! Start by finding a place to write that works best for you. Coffee shops, book stores or libraries are quite popular with students and writers alike. However, I am not one of those people. I get distracted far too easily and find it difficult to get any real work done in that setting. The issues I have are that people tend to read over my shoulder, which makes me crazy, or someone being nice who wants to chat interrupts me. I don’t want to be rude, so I allow myself to be distracted and engage in conversation. The downside? I get nothing done. Sound familiar?
Find a place you feel comfortable and creative and make that your writing spot. Mine is at home. Whether it’s inside or outside on the porch, as long as I have eliminated most distractions (TV, Internet, people), then my thoughts have a chance to make it out of my mind and onto the screen in front of me.
The next, and often most difficult step, is to actually write. Many times I have found myself in front of my computer, mind racing as I stare at the screen, fingers hovering above the keyboard and nothing… nothing flows from my fingertips! It is incredibly frustrating. I create my own mental ‘block’ by sitting frozen in thought. There is some “thing” that keeps my fingers from moving and that ‘thing’ is my interior, highly judgmental editor. This shrewd, and often times rude editor, has a nasty habit of shredding my thoughts before they ever have a chance to make it out of my head. For me, the only way to combat this scathing editorial on things I have YET to write, is to hike up my stubborn side like a big girl, and plod forward anyway. I can rip myself to shreds AFTER I have written something to actually edit or critique! The wonderful part of plodding forward is that when I shove the crotchety part of my personality aside, my fingers begin to move and my thoughts begin to flow. Before I realize it, I have actually written enough content to shift, reform, add to and polish.
Writers can be highly critical of themselves… I know, big surprise right? Still, it is that interior critic that will shove your mind into a corner faster than you would believe possible, causing your brain seize up with self induced mental paralysis! The best and worst part of writing is that first blank page. When you have nothing, anything and everything is possible. A writer can create anything… a mystery, a war, a superhero or an entire world. It can be powerfully intimidating. Turn that sense of intimidation into a sense of purpose… turn it into a sense of power and motivation and use it to your advantage. Just remember… find a place to write that works best for you and sit down to it. Do it every day. Make yourself write, whether it’s a letter, an email, a short story, a poem, a song or just an idea with a rough outline… and write, write, write!