Listening to a great song can make you run up a hill faster. Silence can focus your concentration during an exam. And candlelight can bolster romantic feelings during a special dinner. Like all these pairings, there are certain things which support the act of writing. Here’s a list of situations and activities which I have discovered along the way.
- A dedicated writing space. An oldie but a goody. The reason this one persists is because having a dedicated writing space means it can be set up the way you like. For me, that means notes strewn across the long table and my phone off to the side. The added benefit of have a dedicated space means that your brain learns that when you are at that desk, you are productively writing or editing.
- Music.Not necessarily when you are writing (although classical has helped me through many an edit) but in you break periods. I have been told that the auditory processing area of the brain is very close to the creative part. So if you are stuck, walk away and blast some music, you may be able to jump-start your creativity.
- Hiking. Obviously not when you’re actually writing. Hiking involves being outside in nature for extended periods which has remarkable effects on stress levels. As handy as buildings are when it rains (and when you want to charge your laptop), nature is where we are supposed to be. So get outside and breathe deeply!
- Keeping a notebook.There is inspiration all around us which is often lost to our subconsciousness when we don’t actively think about it. It’s okay because this just goes into the stew of ideas in your head to be picked out at a good moment, but, we can train ourselves to be more aware of what’s going into that stew so we can have more control over the flavours and themes it produces.
- Tea, coffee, chocolate, wine.Tea often works for me although is usually cold by the time I finish it. Perhaps it is the mere presence of tea which helps. The others are personally untested suggestions but feel free to give it a go and report back. Disclaimer: copious amounts of chocolate and wine my increase weight more than actually ability to write. Wine should only be drunk by those of an appropriate age.
- Reading.Books give you ideas, show you other points of view and can teach you new writing skills. If you are still reading this blog however, it’s possible you’re procrastinating. That doesn’t help. Go back to writing.