When creative writing, we could all use a couple of writing tips from time to time…
Words. Beautiful, frustrating, incredible, dynamic words. Sometimes, they can be tricky to get out in an understandable manner, especially when you’re on a deadline. Whether you just feel a bit blocked or you’re deep in the wilds of procrastination-land, my writing tips are designed to help you take a step back, reevaluate and get back to business. I hope they help!
Here are my top five writing tips for conquering your creative writing demons;
1. Take a moment to get your mojo back
When things are stalling, creatively speaking, you need to take a moment to let your brain settle and rejig things around. You don’t want to burn out by forcing the words onto the page and in my experience they’ll generally refuse to come anyway. Save what you’ve got, close the computer or put down your pen and stroll casually away. Find something else to do, with another part of your brain. Maybe try a craft, or clean the house from top to bottom. Whatever gets your mind off of the story and gives it a holiday.
2. Get a change of scenery, ASAP
You may have the best, most comfortable desk chair in the world and the prettiest, most organised desk set-up, but after a while your eyes won’t see it anymore and your butt certainly won’t appreciate it. It’s time to move out, soldier; take your writing materials and switch up the scenery. I like to head to a local cafe and I change which one dependant on which drink I fancy. The walk, the change of pace and the realisation that other people exist in the world outside your book can be a shock, but never fails to get the creative gears stirring again.
3. Grab a drink and a snack
You might be dehydrated, or hungry. When you’re deep in the writing groove, mealtimes can sometimes pass us by (not me) or (more likely), you use up more calories with all that headwork. Have a drink of water while you put the kettle on for a cup of tea or mix up a special hot chocolate or chai and then enjoy drinking it. Nibble on a rejuvenating snack like dried fruit, nuts or hummus and pitta. Go all out with a wodge of triple chocolate fudge cake (invite me?). Whatever you do, take thirty minutes to refuel your body and your mind will follow.
4. Discuss your work with someone else
This can be tricky – how can another person hope to understand your grand vision without first having read it? But another perspective and the chance to vocalise your ideas can really help get the cogs of your brain whirring around again. Rope a friend or family member in to be your sounding board and discuss everything you fancy with them, from the minutiae of cutlery items in your Elven high fantasy to the consequences of killing that character…
5. Try writing something else to give your mind a change of pace
So, this can seem counter-intuitive. If you’re having problems writing, then a writing tip to write seems odd. But! Stick with me. If you’re writing fantasy, switch and word-doodle a plan for a sci-fi novel. Try out a classic noir scene instead of your usual rom-com. Write a non-fiction essay instead of your favourite paranormal thriller genre. Changing your style, your genre and your tone can exercise a different part of your creative writing brain. It might give you some ideas that freshen up the piece you want to be working on, a new angle or an interesting perspective.
Did you find my writing tips helpful? Will you put any of them in practice? Let me know in the comments or come and find me on Twitter @EchoFoxBooks.