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Getting into Your Writing Headspace – Some Tips

December 17th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments
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Over the past few weeks, Matt has been talking about getting into the right frame of mind to write. So I thought I’d hit this up with my own take.

The Working Area

As Matt mentioned in his last post, a big part of this is having a dedicated area in which to write. A bubble if you will, where you need think of nothing other than pouring the words out.

empty room

Hmm… probably going to need a desk in here. Image by Richard Schatzberger.

This is of course an excellent idea, but isn’t always possible. I personally don’t have a specific area where I can retreat to write. Many people don’t. A separate study isn’t always possible. We have to try and make do with what we have.

Waaay back when I got my first portable computer, I used it solely for writing. And I got a hell of a lot of work done on it. Unfortunately, then I got wireless broadband, and the lure of the internet encroached upon my writing space.

So, if you can’t create a personal space in which to write, what can you do instead? You have to create a headspace in which you write. Sometimes, and I’ll stress that, SOMETIMES, this can be more useful. It all depends upon what type of writer you are.

The Unconventional

Anyone who has spent times reading my posts will have figured out I have, in the past, done a lot of things you’re not really supposed to do as a writer. I’m not someone for planning ­- I’m haphazard and don’t make notes, and I spent a lot of my early writing life getting by on determination and luck. But as ever, that will only get you so far.

What all this rambling is getting to is that you have to find what works for you. I spend an increasing amount of time listening to music these days (if only to shut out the deplorable world we live in) and I find it a very useful tactic to let my creative side flourish. And music, as we know, can be extremely inspirational.

The other reason I’ve been thinking about this – I was recently listening to a track that was fairly newly discovered to me, and allowing myself to retreat purely into the music. I sometimes use this as a form of mental free writing. Just listen to some music, let yourself go, and riff, as it were, on your current project. Envision situations and scenarios – maybe they will be relevant to the project, maybe they’ll be side elements or unrelated plots, back stories or so fourth – but the point is to let yourself go, and just be free.

It may be useful, it may not, the entire point of the exercise is to get your creative juices flowing.

A break in the clouds

And then… inspiration! Satish Krishnamurthy on Flickr

In that three minutes and thirty seven seconds, I actually managed to generate the ultimate ending to My Epic. This is three or four books down the line – the ultimate destination. But it just tied up several of the characters’ story arcs, and felt so right that I couldn’t believe I had been so worried about it previously.

Still Not Easy

Now I’m not saying it’s as easy as that. It all depends upon what inspires you, and what you’re writing. It could take an age to find that one specific track that gets you in the correct headspace for what you’re writing. Sometimes though, if you consume enough media, you’ll be able to find the right thing to inspire you (as long as it doesn’t influence you too much) and it’ll grease up the works for you, making the journey so much easier.

Just so long as that inspiration isn’t massive amounts of alcohol that is.

Over to you:
What is it that really gets your juices flowing? What do you use to get into that creative headspace to really blast through your writing? As ever, drop your comments below.

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