Sunday, November 10, 2013

Notes For Writers - Three Simple Ways To Stay Disciplined

People often think that it must be hard to actually sit down and force yourself to write. The truth is the opposite. All you need to know are three simple things that make it all easy.
1) Write something fun.
If you are slaving away trying to create an artistic masterpiece, you are doomed to writer's block. Pretentious aspirations will crush any work ethic. If instead, you are writing the kind of novel you love to read, the writing is fun. At the worst, if you get stuck on a given scene, put it aside until you get a new idea of how to deal with it and start another scene.
2) Consider the alternative.
When you compare writing to any onerous task - doing household chores, standing in line at the DMV, coping with rush hour traffic on the way to your day job, shoveling snow when it is very cold - it is easy. Think about it. You sit down with a cup of coffee and make up a story. How hard is that?
3) Spend a day writing in a new, great place.
Writers have it over those with any other occupation in that you can do it anywhere. So why not do it anywhere? Grab your pad of paper or your laptop and head to the beach, or the lake, or the coffee shop on the corner. Want to expand the concept? November is the shoulder season everywhere. All across the country, tourists have left resort areas. It is the perfect time to take long walks, undisturbed, and talk out your novel to yourself. Use some vacation days and rent a cabin in the woods to channel your inner Thoreau. If you are in an urban area, the city parks are mostly empty, especially on weekdays. From Central Park to Golden Gate Park, a writer can find solitude and beauty.

Bring a chair, bag lunch, and your laptop, and you're set for a peaceful day of writing.

Yesterday, I took a bag lunch and went out to Hope Valley, which is where the Mormon Emigrant Trail came over the Sierra, 15 miles south of Tahoe. While Hope Valley sits at 7000 feet, the fall sun was warm. It was the perfect place to sit on the West Fork of the Carson River and do some writing. The only interruptions were a few trout jumping. It was a perfect location to write some intrigue. I highly recommend such a break!

If you get stuck, a walk to take in the views will give you a recharge.

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