Sunday, 26 January 2014
How to Write With Emotional Distractions
To make matters worse, I've had to re-enter the work force. I have gone from being a full-time writer to a part-time writer.
I have been determined to continue writing but the road is hard. My "writer's block" does not come from lack of creativity but from my emotions blocking the words. I've managed to complete a few writing projects however and I thought I would share some tips that got me through the emotional distractions.
(1) Set small and specific goals --> Goals like 'write 1000 words' or 'edit a third of the book' are difficult for me to do right now. However, I've been able to complete goals such as 'edit: create a list of earrings described in the the book' and 'write paragraph: why are there burn marks on the wall?'. These specific, little goals add up. I've actually accomplished a lot of writing over the last few weeks.
(2) Take mental breaks --> Don't beat yourself up if you need mental breaks. I need several throughout the day. I find walking the dog helps. Also, now that my husband's gone, I have one less person to talk to, so, I talk to myself more. But instead of wallowing, I try to talk about the chapter I'm working on or why I like a certain character.
(3) Take good notes --> I have a bad memory at the best of times. With all the stress I'm going through now, I'm lucky if I remember to eat. So, I've started to take good notes. I write down everything: my writing goals for the day, what I've accomplished that day, and I take detailed records of characters, timelines, and chapter outlines. That way, if I can't remember what I did last week or last month, I don't have to panic, I can just refer to my notes.
(4) Don't multi-task --> Although multi-tasking seems more efficient, it's not. Our brains don't work that way. When you try to accomplish many things at once, the information doesn't get stored in long-term memory. That means, you don't remember things. For me to improve as a writer, I need to keep as focused as I can. And so in my emotionally distracted state, multi-tasking is counter productive. Train your brain to stay focused. Here's a fantastic article to help you stay focused: link here.
Have you ever felt muddled? How have you coped with emotional distractions?
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