AllWriting Tips

Before Pen Hits Paper

By June 26, 2019 No Comments

Hello Writers and Readers, and welcome to this weeks article on what goes on before you start writing. We hope to help you find what situation allows you to write the best, what gets you the most inspired, the most prepared, and the most comfortable. Read on and enjoy the article, that will be going on in⁠ just a—oops spilled my gigantic tub of water. *bzzt* AHH! *bzzt* the computers going dark, quick ON WITH THE ARTI⁠—

Writing Rituals

*bzzt*⁠—fwoo the computers been fixed, now, after a week, we can finally begin, and where to begin other than writing rituals? We don’t mean the kinds of rituals where you summon up the demon Catthar the Crunchy for a spot of tea, but rather the kind that gets you prepared to start writing, calling them rituals is even a little bit to hyperbolic for what is more or a less a pattern of behaviors. These patterns are often no more consequential than just eating or drinking something before writing, but there are some out there who do have some bizarre writing rituals that might accidentally end up summoning Catthar the Crunchy, but we are not here to talk about those rituals, we’re here to talk about a writing rituals purpose. As a starting out writer you might think that having a ritual is essential, and we’re here to tell you it’s not, if you’re perfectly happy just writing unprompted then more power to you, but for some of you out there it may be harder to get started. And that’s what rituals are for, getting you in the right mood to start writing, where your feeling as inspired and ready as you can be on an average day. Usually rituals are formed naturally by just routine that you do over a period of time, and you only find out that this routine has started because you feel strange after not doing it. But rituals can also be focused on, where you find practices done by other authors and apply it to yourself to see if it works. And that’s what you need to do when focusing on a practice, see if it works, everyone is different meaning that doing something like someone else may not work every time, and you have to be able to recognize that and move onto a different practice. One of our own staff at the All The Writing HQ has a writing ritual, where he reads anywhere from 50 to 100 pages before writing, he says it helps him get into the right mindset.

Inspiration

Inspiration is something that most authors need in the first parts of their story. But after the initial stroke of inspiration you can fall on hard times and start questioning whether your idea was any good in the first place, and if you should even continue writing (the answers are usually yes, but it’s good to ask these questions). This is normal and hard to get through, but it is the work of a true author to push past this sludge with the determination of a rabbit chasing after non-branded cereal X which is for kids only. Occasionally you’ll find better days with more inspiration and seemingly better writing ability, remember these rare occasions as beacons of hope guiding you to the satisfactory finish line that is your completed work. Some writers have the idea that they can’t write without inspiration, making the progress on their book as minimal as the heavy inspiration days are rare. These people will often fall victim to letting go of projects because they believe themselves to have lost the spark of passion they needed and then deem it as something to come back to, then they start another project and fall prey to the same cycle over and over again, starting projects then stopping and starting another project. Most days you will have to force yourself to write with the idea in mind that once your done with this draft you can come back later and edit it to what you want it to be. In fact that’s how these articles are made, writing down the large and messy of it all, then reading through and editing. Keep in mind that you should have some amount of passion for your story, and if you don’t have that you need to do some reworking and make the story yours, something you can be proud of when it’s finally done.

There are some things you can do to become more inspired, like the rituals mentioned previously, but these are only minimal increases to help keep you afloat. If you find yourself becoming tired with your story and can’t find out how to fix it you might have to take a short break to get your mind back in order, but don’t do this every time it gets tough. Some things that can help build up your inspiration include stuff like movies, books, and exercise, even reading through All The Writing’s articles(wink, wink, nudge, nudge), but you must also find the balance between using these things for procrastination purposes and using them to legitimately help you.

Your Setting

The setting in your story is just as important as your setting in real life, like how writing at a crazy, loud party may not be the most ideal situation for starting your bestselling novel, unless that is your ideal setting. But we know that most writers prefer a solitary and quiet area for writing, we call this area the Writer’s Zone, where the author feels the most comfortable. In nature some animals establish their territory, and you need to do roughly the same as an author, except for the whole spraying your scent thing, the best place to do this is somewhere that you won’t be distracted by stuff like music, videos, or the petty squabbles of humanity. A piece of advice is to select an area where you don’t do anything but write, but we know that isn’t always possible for everyone. In these situations, where you don’t have a private area, you need to try and find the least traveled through area of your home and claim it as partially yours, and make sure that you have people that can respect your writing time and space. And for these situations we can suggest investing in a laptop, or portable device to write on. You may have heard stories about writers writing in coffee shops, and that is completely fine, because it works for them, and it could work for you, you just have to try it out. But be warned of the possible annoyances that exist in a public area, like other humans(*shivers*), and also pack all of your equipment with you as you travel to and from that area, you know because you need writing gear to write. Having a clean and organized zone also helps a writer become more efficient, and have less things to help them procrastinate, because they can’t clean something that’s already clean.

Distractions

Having music playing while writing or having a video playing in the background can make your writing quality decrease because your brain is split, focusing on two different subjects, which your brain can do, but not that well. Music and video can be extremely helpful for writing, possibly helping with inspiration or getting good advice on writing, there are plenty of videos and podcasts out there dedicated to helping writers grow, but it is best to work with your whole focus on writing. Completely eliminating distractions within your writing zone is a good move, even if that means ripping your headphones off and throwing your phone across the room, or just laying it down somewhere where it can be reached if needed. We suggest placing your phone in Do Not Disturb Mode, unless you are worried about something happening or expecting a call/text. There can also be self imposed distractions, this is called procrastination, where you create an ever elongating list of stuff you need to do before writing, but we say that you just need to start writing and focus on that extra stuff in your spare time when you aren’t writing. This can be hard if you’re feeling nervous, but the best advice that any author just starting out can receive, is to just force yourself to write, if you don’t nothing might ever get written, and we’ll miss out on what could have been an epic novel.

We hope you enjoyed today’s articles, and we suggest you heed it’s information and go write your epic story. See you all next week

Written by All The Writing HQ