So, you have an incredible story to write. One day, you wake up feeling all inspired. Your vocabulary has magically improved in your sleep and your mind is racing at full speed with all the plot twists and dramatic turns you could add in your story. You don’t even brush your teeth, don’t even have breakfast, you take your notebook, take your laptop and grinning wildly start writing.. And all of a sudden, boom, your mind fails you. And it’s not the first time that it has betrayed you. You try to write, try to type those words, try to write those plot twists in your notebook, but alas. All you do is stare at the screen and cry.
This is exactly what I’m going through right now. A horrid, horrid, dreadful part of writing. The deadline is getting closer, and no, my mind resists to obey me. I have tried to make it understand that the time is near, that calamity will rise if I’m not finished, but my mind sticks firmly to its decision.
So, it was a battle against my mind and I tried to challenge it head on. I have thought of some tactics that will help weeping writers, like me, control their mind. And, yes, these are tips but this blog is also about making my mind understand finally why it shouldn’t behave like this. Written is better than oral, everytime!
These tips involve you not being lazy. Do anything to get all energetic. Grab a cup of coffee, tea, alcohol, if it works. And also, these tips involve you being open to change. (I’m very resistant. Not good.) And yes, this is all about where you write, and not what you write. One of the main problems of writing in the same place is developing bad habits. It may start by you merely stuffing your stomach at 1.00pm, or opening Facebook and YouTube at one point, a short break at 4.15pm, or looking at your private stash in your hidden folder at one point. These become so regular afterwards, that you have planned routine at the back of your mind. You may not know it, but when the time comes to take a break, to devour food or to surf your social media, your mind, deep inside, makes you ready for those things. ‘Oh, I see its 11.oopm. Time to see those cute animal videos and then get lost in YouTube.’
By simply changing the place where you write, your mind also changes its way. It doesn’t bother you with your routine, it doesn’t tell you to do your regular stuff. Because you’re writing or working differently, your mind also works differently…in your favour, this time!
1. Another part of your room. If you write on your bed, then get out of it right now. Switch to a new location in your room. Sit on your chair, and write on your table. Sit on your beanbag, sit on the floor. Sitting on the floor and writings works brilliant and you could even spend some time imagining that you’re a little bug and looking things at their angle.
2. Another room. If the above doesn’t help, then switch to a new room. If you have a spare room, make it your working room and write there. Write in the basement. Or up in the attic. The simple change will freshen up your mind a lot.
3. Bathroom – The birth of all dreams and inspirations. If you have a fairly big bathroom, work there. Light some scented candles, have a bath, and write on. If you have a small bathroom, then whenever you write stuff in your mind, quickly jot it down in your notebook, even if it means walking naked all the way to your room…in the freezing mid-winter. Brr.
4. Terrace. The breeze is cool, the view is wonderful. What else do you need in a quiet terrace?
5. Backyard. Lay down on your backyard under the Sun, and write. If you don’t have a backyard, write in your balcony (beware of the neighbors, though.) Get yourself a nice snack, or a drink as well. But don’t…don’t instagram those photos or put updates in Facebook. Never. (Gee, I still do that.)
5.5 *throw away your cellphone*
6. Garden/Lakeside. Go for a jog but with your notebook early in the morning. Picture yourself as those actors in movies and sit on a bench and write. You’ll even get attention from some people over there, and it will boost your spirits up. But, not all gardens and parks are inspiring. The parks I’ve in my city (every park in the country) is filled with cuddling couples who are wrapped around each other. Why can’t they control their hormones? It’s a public place, for God’s sake.
7. Library. Being around books is the best place. If you’re working on a fantasy novel, sit right besides that shelf and write. Libraries are not only silent, but also a good way to improve yourself as well. Grab a dictionary, or your favourite books, so that you could instantly learn from them. You’ll even meet like-minded folks and end up in a satisfying discussion.
8. Bookshop. Just like a library, but not all bookshops like a person who spends his entire day in their shop. They will scrutinize you with their speculative eyes and shoo you away. (Then, why do they have huge tables anyway? One can read, but one can’t write? That’s not fair.)
9. Cafe. My favourite spot with my favourite drink. The best combination will provide the best results. Although it may be a bit loud sometimes, cafes are one of the most popular places for writers, artists and businessmen too. People won’t even mind what you are doing, won’t raise an eye. They are there to do their business. Surely, coffee, writing and music do get along pretty pretty well.
And yes, working in a public place like a library or a cafe, you won’t even open your private stash and start diddling yourself.
This is all I can think of when it comes to changing the way you write. I hope this helps to those who, like me, are having a hard time in writing due to those nasty habits.
Is there more? Do tell me what are your tactics as well.