You know how there are all these writing advice sites that make the actual writing part either really frustrating or REALLY depressing and in the end you don’t feel “ready” to jump into your story?
That’s not a fluke. It just means you haven’t found your process yet. And putting together pre-writing rituals you LOVE can be part of your process (I get shuddery I’ve-just-seen-a-spider chills about the word routine) In fact, it’s the key to consistency. And once you have consistency, you get discipline.
And once you have discipline? Well, friends, you get a book. (Or a short story, novella, etc etc.)
So how do you create a writing ritual (I also like the magical flair of ritualll)?
Well, here are three things I’ve done, and still do, that keep me motivated to write and ultimately have shot my productivity through the roof:
1. Listen to inspiring podcasts inside and outside my industry
Unless you’re a master self-soother, it’s likely you reach out to someone who can give you a quick pep talk when you’re feeling low. Well, what happens when someone isn’t available to you?
That’s what you can use podcasts for. If you’re a (female) fiction writer like me, you might find yourself drawn to Sarah Enni’s First Draft Podcast, where she constantly features seasoned and upcoming authors about their fiction work. You’ll also benefit a lot from someone like the authoress and lifestyle goddess Cara Alwill Leyba, who talks less about writing itself and mostly talks about owning your life like a boss, to give you that inspiration boost. To mix it up and make you feel GOOD.
Because feeling good is the quickest way to write better and for longer.
2. Outline my ‘WHY’ and my ‘WHAT’ so I’m ALWAYS motivated
The first thing I did when I started taking my writing seriously is answer the big WHY for myself. As in… why do I do this? Why do I want to write? Why do I need to write?
Once you get those soul-fulfilling, intangible answers that get your heart gooey and your mind focused, you then want to focus on the tangibles. Because, let’s face it, reward systems are for people who value themselves, too.
So get specific with your dream life. WHAT do you want in your life? WHAT would make you feel more at ease? WHAT little luxuries will get your heart just as gooey and your mind just as focused as the philosophical stuff?
I keep this list close by, in case I need a reminder 😉
3. Get visual!
If you’re someone who deals in words in any capacity, it’s easy to skip this and you shouldn’t. You might surprise yourself and be more of a visual learner, like me.
And one of the best ways to spark this latent capability? Use Pinterest. Or Tumblr. Or Instagram.
Use these social media platforms for good rather than for playing the comparison game. My favorite of the three for this is Pinterest, but to each their own.
Create a space online—and it can be private—that you can access from any device that will help you picture what and why you want. Quotes, outfits, cities, authors you love… go to town! Excite your imagination by playing out your fantasy life. It does wonders for your motivation and, therefore, your process, which leads to all that other stuff mentioned above.
Create at least 3 Pre-Writing Rituals You Will LOVE…
If you’re low in one of these areas, take some time to answer the questions I’ve given you. List out three ways of your own that you KNOW get you in a positive, uplifted mood no matter how bad you were feeling at the start.
And if you need help coming up with ideas, it’s worth signing up for my mailing list. There are countless prompts to get you to rethink your life, creativity, and productivity… and they’re only a click away. Plus, you can get a sneak peek into what I’m writing right now!
In fact, when my next email goes live, I’m going to include a nice, long snippet for you to read of my latest WIP.
You can also let me know if any of these worked for you in a comment, and it has the extra special benefit of
1) teaching someone else your own way of doing things or
2) inspiring someone else with your feedback.
Those steps I mentioned might sound simple all together, but these 3 lessons have changed the way I write, and I guarantee you starting your writing day will be more fun and exciting from now on.
Amara – Wannabe Prolific Author
P. S. Let’s keep each other accountable. Send me an email and I’ll check back with you, see how you’re fighting back the sloth-bug. You can easily click to my email address in your first welcome letter to my mailing list. <3