Getting into the zone

Having trouble writing? Below are some general tips to fix that…

1) TURN OFF ALL DISTRACTIONS. I know it can be difficult in this modern world, but try to stay off the internet and even turn off your phone if this is providing distraction. You need to focus on your writing, and you can’t do that if other things are taking your attention away! If you like to check your emails, then perhaps check them just once an hour, instead of every few minutes.

2) DO MUNDANE TASKS. Yes, that’s right! It’s scientifically proven that if you do mundane tasks, then it will inspire you to be creative. Avoid tasks that require too much attention (like sudoku puzzles and reading) and avoid tasks that require no attention (i.e. sitting down doing nothing). If you want to get into the zone, then you need to do mindless tasks (i.e. going for a walk or doing the dishes). So that’s great news for stay-at-home writers, because doing the chores can help you to write!

3) MEDITATION. If you’re feeling stressed or something is on your mind, then this can get in the way of writing. So why not try some meditation to stabilise your emotions and clear your mind? I promise you, it really does work! It may take a bit of time to get into the swing of it, but it can be extremely helpful.

4) TRICK YOURSELF INTO TAKING THE PRESSURE OFF. Quite often, we put so much pressure on ourselves to write, which can actually be detrimental. You must approach your project with a relaxed attitude and remember to have fun! Most of us write because we enjoy it, so don’t forget that! If you can convince yourself to stop worrying about your writing, then it can suddenly inspire a creative frenzy. For example, you could trick yourself into thinking that writing is a form of procrastination, as opposed to a chore that you do each day.

5) JUST WRITE. As simple as it sounds, it’s a golden rule. Come rain or shine, you should get those words onto paper (or the computer screen). Don’t worry about the quality of the writing because you can tweak that later. Just get to the end of your first draft and then you can edit it, because you can’t edit a blank page, can you? Someone one told me that it’s better to have a shoddily written first draft than a perfectly polished first page. I totally agree, so write first and edit later! Write one word after another and eventually you will have a finished book.

I hope these tips are of use to people. Every writer is different, so you may find that one tip is more useful than others. Just go with what feels right… all of these tips have worked for me and hopefully they will work for you too. Happy writing =)

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