I don’t write if I don’t feel like it. I’ve never written anything of value that was forced from a reluctant heart and brain. However, I want to write a lot. So I have a few ways of making myself feel like it. These are my lazy writer confessions.
- I read. Listening to or reading good stories forms a blueprint of a good story in my brain. As a writer, I instinctively pull from this when I try to pace and plot my own story. Plus it taps into emotions and memories that will make me feel like writing. Maybe not at this moment. Maybe tomorrow while I’m supposed to be doing the dishes or coding or anything else but writing.
- I listen to music. I have a soundtrack for my work–in–progress book, Starblood. I also had one for Childhood’s Last Summer. I’ve seen other writers do this, too. It’s so helpful, necessary, even. I pick something that matches the character of the story and the world I wish to create. Writing my Scottish Highland fantasy, I am listening to the How To Train Your Dragon soundtrack. It makes me cry. It makes my fingers play the piano on my keyboard to weave something I hope will be effective and timeless. It. Is. So. Beautiful. Bonus: I also listen to Scottish accents to keep me in my world, but that’s a bit more fitting for the next point.
- I’m indebted to Todd Brison for this one. I create a few stimuli that I always indulge in before I write. For others, this could be an herbal tea, a certain scent, and a certain configuration of objects on your desk. It could be a playlist (see #2). It could be a combination of all of the above or something I haven’t listed that is uniquely you, like rubbing a special rock. For me, if I do the same thing every time, it takes my mind to story-writing land again. I’ve used this for years for other forms of creating. For example, I always have a certain playlist for each design or web developing project. As soon as I slip into my desk and turn this soundtrack on, I’m back in the feeling that I’m trying to create, picking up where I left off with no lost steam.
- I get in touch with a strong memory and write about it. Write it into your story if that’s what you need, or don’t. But get it on paper.
- I take a walk in nature. Nature is so incredibly healing, inspiring, and feeding to the creative part of our souls. It can also help get rid of the noise. And we all live in a lot of noise. Unless you’re a hermit somewhere or live on a Scottish island. If you are a hermit or do live in the Scottish highlands, I envy you, especially if you live long ago, which is unlikely if you’re reading this post. Can you invite me to get away from it all with you?
Writing is simply about feeling and expressing feelings. For years, I wrote only when I was gripped by those feelings with such a strength that if I did not write I felt like I was going to explode. Now, as I am creating more of a discipline of writing, I am practicing getting in touch with things that make me feel like writing in order to write more. On low inspiration days, I set up my creative stimuli and put pen to paper and write a couple of hundred words. If I still can’t write, I don’t force it. Instead of writing more, I read or take a walk instead. The inspiration will come. The key is to never ignore inspiration but to grasp it with both hands and bleed it all out.