Transcript for April 6th, 2011 Live Chat with the WWCC

Five Tips to Mentally Prepare Yourself To Write
By:  Irene S. Roth

Many writers have a difficult time to focus when they set out to write.
For beginning writers, it can take time and effort to put themselves in
‘the zone’ to write. However, with practise, we can all take steps to
ensure that we don’t waste time when we set out to write.

Tonight, I will talk about how writers can enter into this ‘zone’
for optimal writing success. If we don’t enter into the ‘zone’,
we will simply ‘puter’ and waste time during our alloted writing
time and get very little done to achieve our writing goals.
This can leave us frustrated and unproductive.

Let me pause first and explain what I mean by being in ‘the zone’.
To be in ‘the zone’ is to create a flow-like state of mind in
which a writer is fully immersed in an writing task by creating
a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success
in the process of the activity.

In other words, flow is completely focused motivation.
It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps
the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service
of writing.

In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled,
but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand.
The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy,
even rapture, while performing a task although flow
can also be described as a deep focus on nothing but
the activity at hand.

Here are five tips to mentally prepare yourself to write.

1. Do a five minute centering exercise

To center, all you need to do is close your eyes and focus
on something pleasant, such as a landscape or a nature scene.

For instance, I love the Avon River where I live,
and that is what I picture in my mind’s eye when
I center before I start writing. Your centering
exercise doesn’t have to last long. But start by
focusing on that image.

2. Carve a proper writing routine in which you could be productive

The routineous nature of your writing will really help a lot.
For instance, if you write in the mornings, try and set that as
a goal for yourself. Or, if you write for an hour or two in the
evenings after dinner, make sure that time is sacrosanct.
Keep to it, and your family and friends will also expect
you to be in your writing space and will respect that time.
This will ensure that you have success.

3. Prioritize your tasks, and then follow your list line by line

Before you start, take a red or green coloured marker and number your writing tasks.
Do first things first. In other words, do the most urgent things first,
such as looming deadlines or things that are quick and that can be
gotten over with in a small amount of time. Then prioritize the
rest of your writing activities. Have no more than 3 things that
you will do in a given writing session. Most of us can’t really
prioritize endless lists of things without being distracted
and overwhelmed.

4. Work with intentionality and purpose

When you sit down to write, think of nothing else but your writing
and what is in front of you. Just do each writing task that you
decided to do initially, and don’t second guess yourself.

As you get your writing tasks done, check them off using a
red pen. This will give you to feeling of accomplishment
and completion. This will motivate you to stay focussed
more often because you will get so much more done.

5. Try and focus on one writing task at a time

Don’t think about what you will do next or what
you will do later. Instead, just take the time to
concentrate on your current task.

In other words, focus on what is right in front
of you and let other things take care of themselves later.
There is a time and a place for everything.

By following these tips, you will be much more successful
and productive during the times that you allot to write.
Don’t forget to be very serious about your writing.
This is the only way that you will be successful.

In conclusion, there is nothing better and more
rewarding than writing when you’re in ‘the zone’.
Try it and you will notice your productivity levels soar.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them here
and I will answer them right away.


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