5 Steps To Form Better Writing Patterns
It's hard to form positive patterns that help us gain the momentum we need towards writing new projects. I get it, I've been there, and I've failed to complete deadlines, then I failed better, and now I think I've got into a grove that can benefit you as well.
Below are five tips I've discovered throughout my writing journey that helped me move past mental blocks, as well as "show up" to a day of work that I wasn't getting paid for.
Let's Get Into It
One of my biggest hurdles was getting over my fear of putting pen to paper- or finger to keyboard- and actually write. There was always something else I had to do first, or a nine-to-five that demanded all of my attention.
Then the Coronavirus hit, and everyone in the world seemed to be finding that extra boost of energy to be creative and complete their art projects, except for me. Now that I had all this free time to do something I loved, I found that I couldn't take advantage of it.
I struggled to find that inspiration, or will, or discipline, or whatever you want to call it, to move forward with my life, which brings me to my first tip:
1. Managing Your Anxiety
I was overwhelmed, and I lacked focus. I knew I needed some structure in my life, so I started by asking myself some tough questions, and I had a bit of an "ah-ha" moment that completely changed how I dealt with my anxiety. You can read more about that process here in this post.
2. Choose A Designated Work Space
For those of us who work from home (by choice or otherwise), we need to find a sacred space where we can create our art. It could be a kitchen table or a desk in the corner, whatever works best for you, but choose a place in your home to become your new 'office' and only use that area for work, if possible.
Why do this? Well, eventually, whenever you enter this space, your mind will register that you've entered work, and you'll automatically be focused on your tasks, and you'll start finishing your workload faster and without distraction.
3. Dress For The Job
Dress as if you're going into a professional office space. This is especially important for those of us working from home. I found that if I'm lounging in my pajamas all day, my brain registers that my work is not important, and I soon find myself binge-watching StarTrek episodes instead of working on my book.
4. Leave Your Cell Phone In A Different Room
This step is essential for people who get distracted by IG posts (I'm guilty of this) or for those of you who want to satisfy your Candy Crush addiction. In fact, go ahead and delete that game from your phone right now. I don't care what level you're on. You're wasting valuable mental space that you could be using toward writing your book.
Did you delete it? Good, I'm proud of you. We must eliminate our distractions the best we can. Candy Crush is our enemy!
5. Set A Timer And Take Breaks
I've noticed a massive improvement in reaching my daily goals by doing this. I put a timer on for 30 minutes, and I work until the timer goes off. Then I time a 10-minute break and walk away from my desk.
I'll stretch, grab a snack or a coffee, and then I sit back down and set the timer to work another 30 minutes. I repeat this until my workday is over. This helped me to stay focused and kept me on track.
That's it, folks! I hope you find these five tips helpful in creating your own routine. Happy writing!