Getting my Bearings… 5 Tips from Me…

This is a new one to me…  Blogging -I mean this is my first official bit of writing as a blog -as opposed to poems, snippets etc…  So you will need to bear with me as I collect my thoughts and try to write something that is a worthwhile read -I do hope you will help me out on this road of discovery to the delightful and mysterious blogging world!

So how am I finding this experience so far?  It is definitely interesting; continuing to write my novel (2000 words achieved today -yay!  Need a few more words to complete the 2nd Chapter and then I will call it a night); updating the blog (still deciding if the format and the contents has the right balance -watch this space for any changes); keeping the tweeting going and updates on facebook (this is mind-boggling stuff -so much to consider and time just seems to fly by so quickly); and then keeping on top of all the tips shared by authors and bloggers alike -I feel overwhelmed with all this knowledge and at times wonder do you too?!

If so, then you might want to shout along with me I’m new at this -I’m getting my bearings! Now do you feel any better?  I didn’t think so; neither did I -but it was fun!  🙂  On a serious note, I want to say that I have found the following (yep tried and tested; been there, done that, brought the t-shirt methods) do work as it has done for the millions before us and will no doubt do so for the millions that will follow…

Here’s my 5 tips to help you on your way to writing effectively:

1) Stay focused – Stop Procrastinating! -I’m not just saying this as a blah blah blah comment; I really mean it.  If you are not focused, then your attention is just wasted on the million of other things waiting to grab your attention -for instance; the internet lures you to surf the net and take in an array of information available to you; the suddenly very enticing to do list you put together a while back becomes a matter of urgency; the chores that normally can wait a few hours become a must do the moment you sit down to write; oh and surely you must call Rebecca (or whoever you feel that is a likely replacement for my chosen character) and see how she is -it doesn’t make a difference if you have not spoken to her for a few weeks or not; if you haven’t called her for that long, she can wait a couple more hours; she won’t know.  Am I painting a clear picture?  I hope so as I know we are all guilty of it -including me!

2) Work Environment: – Ok, now that we’re focused -I surely hope we are!  We need to create a usable and non-distracting work area.  I have found my kitchen to be an ideal space as it is bright (gets enough sunshine in for most of the day) and is full of yellow items -they say yellow is a mind stimulant and others associate it with madness -I always find the saying ‘with madness comes genius’ very apt at such situations -I digress; let me get back to the matter at hand…  My ideal work space may not be suitable for you; so find someplace that does that for you; make sure it is bright (with enough daylight coming in), has a desk (yes even if you have a laptop -use a desk; not only does it give you a space to work on and stops your lap from burning up; it also helps your posture as I find when using a laptop I tend to lean towards the keyboards or other times I lounge back -neither are good sitting positions!).

Make sure your chosen work surface is free from clutter (that includes any items that may distract you more than necessary); your desk should be adorned with all the essentials that will help you with your writing; I tend to have a pen, notepad/writing journal, diary and a beverage to my disposal; these work for me; explore to see what is your best writing tools buddies.  Is this making any notable sense?  Well I hope so and by now I hope you are actually hunting down a space and making it work for you.

3)  Writers Block vs Inspiration: – Now, here I want to see a show of hands of those who are adamant they suffer from writers block (not literally obviously; as that would involve extra media etc and that is something I think will over-complicate things!).  Come on don’t be shy, it’s ok to admit it; I’ve done so many a times; so my hand is raised up high -can you hear my inner voice say “writer’s block is the cause to many of my half-written stories/novels etc… “ Well that’s what I firmly believed until quite recently; apparently it’s a myth -something we make up or believe in order to feel better about not writing; so there you have it: there’s no such thing -it’s all in your mind -wakey wakey!!!  If you have something to say/write then just do it.  Sit down and write and magically the words just flow (a good example is me; writing now -the thoughtthere is no way I can write something useful for this blog’ crossed my mind several times before I began to write this; but now I think that may of been an oversight on my behalf -correct me if I am mistaken but; I believe I am not doing such a bad job after all!  (I promise I am not fishing for compliments here -I just want some good old-fashioned honesty!)

Remember inspiration will always be with you; within you; you just need to stay focused and concentrate on it in order to access it -you know you can do it; just run with it.  Be inspired.  Oh and let me know how that inspiration is going.

4)  Allocate Time & Use that Time Effectively: – Yes I know; I hear you saying ‘I do allocate time -things just pop up!’ This takes me back to point number 1, above, and the excuses we use there has a tendency of materialising here too.  You allocate the time but mysteriously; always and always you find something to do in that allocated space -errr stop!  Tell yourself that this time is for your writing and nothing else -be firm or else face the facts; you will lose out on your goal -do you want to achieve it or not?  Always ask yourself questions that will motivate and prompt you to stick to your timeframes.

Ok, I hear you; there are times when emergencies crop up -I’m no miracle worker; so use your commonsense -if it is an emergency you can reschedule your writing time for a later slot in the day.  Bottom line is; your allocated time is precious so protect it so it can benefit you.  The keywords here are play smart and achieve your goal!

5)  Write, Write & Write: – Finally and just simply:  Write!  Steps 1-4 (maybe you will choose to follow them; but not particularly in that order), they are there to guide you to stay focused; use your space wisely; be inspired and to be organised so you can achieve your one and only goal and that is to write -so what are you still doing reading this?!!!  Now chop chop; I want to see those pen to paper or fingers to keyboards tap tapping away…

‘Goes off to attack her novel and glare at the villain who is now looking to take centre stage -oooerr missy!’

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~ by yikici on April 1, 2011.

4 Responses to “Getting my Bearings… 5 Tips from Me…”

  1. Great post! Basically, everything boils down to sitting your butt down and getting the words out. And it’s my biggest problem! I can’t get past the awfulness that is the first draft, so I declare myself hopeless and then get depressed and can only write 100 words before I feel like crying. That’s where I’m at right now anyway.

    • Yep -that is the idea; just sit down and write -noone is going to do that for you. So you get stuck with writing the first draft or when you go onto the second draft?

  2. It’s mostly the first draft. I get a lot of momentum the first 2/3 of the way in, and then I realize how awful everything I’ve written up to that point is. I kind of get paralyzed. Ugg. I actually love editing and revising. Just something I have to work through!

    • Sounds like you might have a slight hicup with the storyline? Maybe you need to consider a loose outline or even have a peek at Roz Morris’ book Nail Your Novel
      You musn’t lose heart with it; refresh your mind, take a step back, think the story through, do some research -maybe try your hand at flash fictions to get your brain ticking/build confidence, then dive back into your manuscript 🙂

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