From time to time I will get an email from someone asking me for writing tips. And when I did, It always kind of threw me because I had never really formulated any in my head. It seemed that when it was time for me to write (when the inspiration came) I just sat down and made it happen. But as I took a closer look at my habits, I realized that I did have some definitive ways of working and although I didn’t realize it at the time, I can offer up some ideas or “tips” that I had made my own just through the process of trial, error and intuitive nature. I realize that we are all different and some of us beat to a different drum than others; but here before you are some writing ideas that have worked very well for me.
-Write an outline
This is really important for me, as most of my ideas just come at the most random times. And these ideas, as I begin to flush them out on my computer, usually form the basis for a successful blog or more importantly, part of my next book. When these ideas come, I will get an intuitive hit that will be loud and clear…almost a knowing that the information will be very important for me…something that I will want to use, but just not sure where or when.
So as I get clear on my article, book, blog, etc., I will form an outline with the major headings, which may or may not become chapters. But as more ideas begin to trickle in, I will then either make them a heading which to use as my foundation or place it under one of my already established headings to expand on. And as I progress, things become clearer for me since I already have my outline formed.
It also helps make my projects more doable. I know a lot of writers feel overwhelmed feeling like they have a whole book to write. I don’t think that way. I just focus on one outline heading at a time. It allows my brain to relax because I am not trying to organize everything all at once…it eliminates the potential jumble of trying to manage your whole book idea in your head. I am then free and clear to let more ideas come forward as I just focus on each outline or chapter heading. Then as I progress…it may be that some things get changed around a bit as the book takes shape…no problem. But an outline is of the up most importance.
-Hang onto everything that you write
This is really important. I can’t tell you how many times that I have shared a few sentences on Facebook or Twitter about an idea I had or a mini epiphany I was experiencing. I always make sure to copy and paste it into a folder that is titled “Possible Ideas.” I may have not even thought about expanding it into a blog or including it in a book at the time but know that it may very well be the missing link to something down the road.
-Trust your intuition
It ‘s simple…trust those ideas that come through you when you least expect it. They are the potential writing gold that you are looking for. Even if it may not seem at the time something that might benefit you; write it down and file it away.
Always listen to those little nudges or ideas that come when you least expect. Trust your hunches. As I go through my day…I have learned to really decipher the wheat from the chaff in regards to what pops into my mind at any given moment. The special ideas just feel different. For me, it is almost a “knowing” as it comes through and speaks to me. These are the ideas that make me light up and give me the basis for many of my blogs and even books. Trust your intuition!
-Take a break
If you just aren’t feeling it while trying to write…take a break. I realize sometimes we are able to break through a bit of a stalemate…but if you honestly aren’t getting anything productive done get up and go do something else for a bit. One of my favorite things to do while feeling “stuck” is to go for a hike. Getting out into nature ALWAYS works for me. It helps me clear my head as well as allows me to listen to my intuition in a much stronger and clearer way.
When I get reconnected to my intuition, my creativity almost always follows and helps me get back on track. Another thing that has been helpful for me is to get some exercise. Whether it be going to the gym or going for a bike ride…exercise is extremely helpful in getting rid of those feelings of “being stuck.” Maybe taking a short break isn’t enough. Maybe you need a few days off to regenerate. That is fine as well. Take a day trip to get your juices flowing. Enjoy a couple of movies…anything to take your mind off of the writing. Before you know it you will be ready to dig back in!
-Let it breathe
I have found one of the keys for me is to just ease into my writing…I always try to keep an open mind and not get to stiff with how I feel it should go. I let my creativity flow through it. Rome definitely wasn’t built in a day and it is so true with a book or even a blog! If I can be open to it changing ever so gently as I write it and as I let it breathe…it is amazing sometimes what comes out of me. I suppose it is no different than life. I let go of my expectations as I journey forward and let my intention guide me without any specific goals. My life and my writing I truly believe are so much fuller because of this.
Write on! Brian
Copyright G. Brian Benson 2014