Workshop notes: Having Fun While Writing

The Human Library and I put on a workshop/discussion yesterday about having fun while writing, and it evolved into a sort of writing-as-mental-health thing. There were lots of good bits of advice, including:

Track your writing. What time do you start? When do you stop? What patterns emerge?

What time to day do you usually write. Usually it’s early morning, late morning, or late at night. Are there any people who write well in the middle of the day or early evening? We didn’t find any.

What happens when the pattern breaks? You’re sick or you have life issues to deal with. Can your pattern survive? How difficult is it to re-establish the pattern?

How do you set up a pattern? Make writing a habit. Reward yourself. Develop rituals that trigger the habit (i.e. a special playlist). Write with other people. (Recommended books: The Power of Habit,Smarter, Faster, Better, Mini Habits)

How can you make sure you are open to inspiration? (Recommended books: Big Magic)

What do you do when inspiration strikes but you don’t have time to write? Keep notes. Use an audio recorder. Google keep. Send emails to yourself. (recommended apps: Google Keep, Speech Notes)

How can you get rid of distractions? Turn off notifications. Airplane mode. Use a notebook. Use a crappy old computer that can’t handle the internet. (Recommended books: Make Time)

If you don’t feel like writing? Write a few sentences and let them call out for more. Meditate. Take a walk. (Recommended app: Headspace)

Write as therapy. “Brain dump” the terrible things you’re thinking.

Your next assignment: experiment! Try something new and track how it changes your writing habit. What tools work for you? Tell me in the comments.

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