I enjoy writing. Not just blog posts and book reviews, but I love writing short stories. I usually base many of my stories on events that have happened around me- something my grandmother said to me when I was twelve or the tragic murder of a young girl in the next town over. I tend to write what I like to read, which is mystery/thriller and real life fiction. Some people like getting lost in the fantasy of stories, I like getting lost in stories that are so realistic you forget that they are not about your own life. Recently, it has been difficult for me to find the time to sit down and write for leisure but when I do get the opportunity, I have a sort of “ritual” that I follow that allows me to REALLY focus on my writing! This is my writing ritual:
- Abandon All Distractions. I have given up on trying to write at work because [duh] it’s work and I’m always going to be distracted! I place my phone face down so that I’m not tempted to get sucked into the glorious pictures on Instagram and I let my boyfriend know that my earbuds will be in and not to disturb my creative flow.
- Find a Place That Gets My Creative Juices Flowing. I’m convinced that a good writing day is directly correlated to where I decide to write. One of my favorite places to write is in one of the study rooms at the public library. I’m surrounded by windows on the second floor of a tall building, they are always nice and cool and you can hear the faint humming of the A/C. It’s just so cozy AND sound proof. I also like to sit propped up in my bed by the window (bonus points if it’s a nice day and I get to actually open the window).
- Outline. Okay, I don’t always write out a full outline of my story before I begin but if I have a really great idea for a section of my story, I will first write out a brief outline in case I do get distracted! I also try to do a little character building, but most of my ideas come to me as I’m writing so-unfortunately- I don’t do a lot of planning.
- Don’t Fight My Stream of Consciousness. Like I mentioned above, a lot of my writing just kind of comes to me the moment I sit down and start thinking about my story. I try not to fight this. Most of the time it sounds insane when I re-read it, but sometimes it works really well!
- Edit As I Go. I have read MANY articles written by professional writers that say editing as you go can be disastrous. And I totally get it. You can end up spending way more time on one section than is necessary. I tend to change my mind a lot, so writing a chapter or a few paragraphs and then taking the time to look over it and make changes just works for me!
- Step Away. After I’ve finished a story I will step away from it for at least a day and then re-read it and do some more editing! It gives me a new outlook and a chance to read it without a scattered brain.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my writing ritual! To take a look at an excerpt from a short story I’ve been working on- click here 🙂