If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut. – Stephen King | On Writing (affiliate link)
Personally, I practice both just about every day now. I’m up to ~8 books this year and though I don’t always hit the publish button, writing is a part of my daily routine. Still, there’s room for improvement as with most things in life.
There’s a couple of things I’ve come to realize (about myself and how/when I do my best writing)… I have a ritual. Mostly, it involves:
- Pandora (Cirque du Soleil or Techno – basically, music without lyrics)
- Coffee or Rockstar
- My moleskine notebook and timer
I’ll stand up and flip through my notes for ~5 minutes or so and then I’ll sit down and start typing. The standing part is my version of a warm-up drill before a game.
The other thing I’ve realized about myself is that timing matters. I don’t mean what time of the day to hit the publish button. You can schedule things to post whenever you want. What I mean is what time of day I write, matters. I get my best (creative) writing done either really early in the morning, in the afternoon (after work), or really late at night. Mornings are tough because of my current commute. But the afternoon in the cafe or at the bookstore, sipping on an espresso, people-watching and skimming through notes is perfect. And so is late at night when I’m distraction free with nothing but Pandora to keep the music and creativity flowing.
If I have a headline idea during the day, I’ll jot it down in the moleskine and maybe add some bullet points but I don’t sit down and actually write the post until it’s that prime-time moment for me. I know that I’ll be able to get it my best attention then.
How About You?
What does your writing ritual look like? Where and/or when do you get your best writing done? Any tips you can share with the rest of us?