Today I have five tricks to help you get into the writing zone, so you can focus on your project and get more done.
There are days when I sit down to write and ... nada. Nothing. Zilch. It's like a spontaneous word drought, and it can be beyond frustrating.
Sometimes it's because I need to step back, perhaps work on my plot on do some brainstorming. But most of the time it's because I'm not able to get into the zone (that beautiful place where the words flow) because I'm having trouble focusing or I'm not connecting with my story.
On those days, there are a few tricks I use to help me get into the zone. The next time you're struggling to focus, try them out. I'd love to hear what you think.
1. Re-read what you last wrote
Sometimes, reading the last thing I wrote during my most recent writing session is all it takes for me to get into the zone. I'll start with the last chapter I wrote (or revised), and often it's enough for me to pick up where I left off. If I'm drafting, I like to finish each day by making notes for the next scene. Like a trail of breadcrumbs, I can read my notes the next time I sit down to write, and it will be much easier to find my way back into the story.
2. Tidy your workspace
When my desk is a mess, I find it difficult to concentrate. This is especially true when I'm having a hard time focusing on my project. A few minutes of tidying to make sure the surface is clear of clutter can be a huge help.
3. Make a music playlist
Setting your mood with music can do wonders for getting you into the writing zone. I recommend creating a curated playlist (or radio station, if you use an online music service) for each project. For example, my current project is a children's fantasy/adventure, and I listen to film scores from the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings movies. Try to find music that helps inspire you so that when you hear it, you'll immediately think of your story.
4. Create an inspiration board
When I find myself staring at my document without knowing where to start, I'll scroll through the Pinterest board I made for my current project. The images never cease to inspire me and help me visualize the world in my book.
5. Find company
Find people to write with online or in person. I love participating in online writing challenges (like the YA Buccaneers Spring Writing Bootcamp), and Word Sprints are amazing - both for motivation and for meeting writers. If you have real-life writing friends, meet at the library or a café for writing dates. Agree to write for a specific amount of time (you can set a timer), but also set aside time for chatting.
Now it's your turn. How do you do to get into the writing zone? I'd love to hear it!
P.S. You might also like 5 Tips for Setting Reasonable Writing Goals - and Making them Happen