The idea of writing a complete book is VERY daunting, even for professional writers. I created Bookform to make ‘writing a book as easy as filling in a form’. Advances in technology have made this a reality, but you still need to do a little bit of work. Well, it’s not work if you enjoy it though, right? So, let’s make it enjoyable.
This is every professional writer's mantra and if you would like to finish your book, you should start a writing routine. But, I’m not saying you have to finish, yours could just be a wandering, fun, amble that never ends.
I struggled to start writing my first book, I kept waiting for inspiration, but it never came. Then I went to a Sydney Writers Festival event interviewing authors on their writing habits, and they ALL said,
“You must make writing a part of your normal daily routine, no matter what that routine is, it has to be routine – it’s something about tricking the brain into a mind-set that ‘now I am going to write’ and the brain then opens up and releases all this amazing information. Well, not to start with, and not every time, but as you stick with your routine your writing habit becomes ingrained and your writing, like an exercised muscle, becomes stronger”.
After that I started a routine and sat at my desk to write at 9am every day and I completed my book in 3 months.
A blank page is a hard place to start, and that is why I created Bookform’s templates of questions, so you have a prompt and a helping hand to guide your thoughts and memories. You don’t have to answer every question; it’s just a place to start. Start writing, it can be tidied up later.
You don’t have to write at the same place every time, but it is nice to have a writing spot. This is part of the programming of your brain to start remembering and thinking. Your spot needs to be comfortable, with a good chair, light, a place for a hot beverage and of course the most valuable tool of all – the computer. Decorate your spot with memory stimulating items: photos of your loved ones and yourself from over the years, pictures of places you have been or want to go, artifacts and general knick-knacks from your life. Some people need to write in silence, or in a busy café, you may want the radio or TV on in the background, this is your writing spot, create the environment that makes you feel comfortable and able to focus.
This incorporates stimulation of mind, body and soul.
Mind – Reading makes you a better writer; it stimulates your mind and builds your vocabulary. Reading about or watching movies from certain periods in history can stimulate long forgotten memories, carry a note pad to jot these down or create ‘reminders’ in your mobile phone.
Stimulating your body with exercise helps your brain to relax. Repetitive movement, such as walking, swimming, knitting and the like, creates almost a meditative state for random thoughts, and memories, and solutions to problems to jump out from your subconscious. Be open to this.
Treat your soul with something that makes you happy or relaxed. It may be eating your favourite food, or listening to your favourite music, or by simply enjoying nature or watching a crowd go by.
Completing a difficult task or finally doing something you have been putting off for a while can free your mind from the nagging obligation and allow your thoughts and writing to flow.
Good writing habits come from a regular writing routine, in a comfortable spot and in the right psychological state. Enjoy the whole writing process.