Finding time to write is precious, so when we do finally get those fragments of time, we want to make sure we get straight into the writing zen, and don’t allow our minds to become cluttered with other tasks and obligations.
Writing zen occurs when we are almost in a meditative state while writing, we are in ‘the zone’. The words flow and the experience is energising rather than exhausting. In order to find your writing zen, you must first clear your mind of all clutter. Every writer is individual, but here are some easy ways to find your writing zen. Now don’t attempt to cover them all, but if you find yourself in a writing funk, you could try one of these.
Find the Writing Zen in:
- The colour blue – light shades of blue are found to be the most inspiring colour for creativity, also pale or greyish greens, creams and whites.
- Notebooks – switch off the harsh computer lights, and switch to scratching words on paper. Cream or natural coloured paper can be particularly inspiring.
- Pens that write smoothly. I like fine-point markers in various colours.
- Meditation – meditating, even for just five minutes, before writing can help clear your mind and allow you to focus on the task ahead.
- Free-writing – spending anywhere between three to ten minutes writing without pausing or lifting the pen from your page can be quite meditative.
- Centre-based goals – if you write with financial gain, or even publication in mind, then your are not entirely focused on the task of writing. Make your goal to create, to explore, to tell a story. Don’t think beyond that. The writing is the goal, not the end product.
- Clean environment – clutter around us adds clutter to our mind, even if you just clean the one room to write in, it will make you more focused.
- Flowers – fresh flowers, or even a vase of herbs can be soothing and inspiring.
- An empty to-do list – don’t give yourself twenty tasks to complete, try to clear your list and have only writing as your focus.
- Walks – taking the dogs for a walk is good for the dogs, for you, and for your inspiration. Walking is a great activity for thinking out plot problems.
- Wearing a freshly ironed shirt – there’s something about a crisp shirt to make you feel like a professional writer.
- The Cinema – a visit out to see a special movie will inspire and energise you for writing. Of course, just switching on the telly and moving to the couch is not the same.
- The shower – so many authors claim to get their best inspiration while in the shower.
- Herbal tea – mint or lemon will activate your mind, it also smells lovely (and smell is a strong trigger for memories). Lay off the caffeine. Lots of water is a good idea too.
- A good novel – try rereading one of your all time favourite novels. The love of the words on the page will entice you back into writing.
- YOUR stories – reread some of your own stories, or novels. Take pride in your creations.
- Routine – writing everyday at the same time will become habit.
- Chat with writers – either through a writers’ group or by catching up with a writing friend, inspire each other to move forward with your projects.
- Take a break – from everything else, work, home, internet; get away from the house, give yourself a holiday just to write.
- Writing guides – read a writing manual and attempt some of the exercises.
- Good sleep – don’t be foggy-minded, get a good night’s rest, and hopefully some creative dreams.
- A window – being near a window to gaze out upon the world can prompt ideas, also natural light is easier on the eyes and mind than harsh fluorescents.
- Zen in the Art of Writing – soak up the inspiration in Ray Bradbury’s collection of essays on writing.