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By Lilliana Rose
For years, I pushed myself forward with my writing, found myself getting burnt out, then writing anyway.
Putting in long hours writing would get the story out on the page, help me meet deadlines and build my ‘published list.’ But the approach was also leaving me exhausted.
Then I realized it wasn’t just about finding the time to write, it was about using this time efficiently, and harnessing the creative flow within me.
Here are some writing tips that helped me find my creative flow–I hope they help you too!
Writing Tip 1: Divide up writing time.
I’ve learned to divide up my writing time to help keep some variety and mix things up so my muse doesn’t get worn out and go on vacation. I might write for an hour and then switch to editing a different book, provided I don’t have a deadline to meet. This approach also helps to keep things fresh with the main creative project I’m working on, and it helps more than one project move forward simultaneously.
Writing Tip 2: Break down jobs.
I learned that as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t write a novel in a day, a week or even a month. I have a life to live and it’s not all about writing. Now I break down big jobs so that they are manageable. For instance, if time is tight I might write a particular scene rather than focusing on a chapter. This approach helps me narrow down what I have to do in the here and now, rather than thinking too far ahead.
Writing Tip 3: Working With the Flow
Sometimes it’s about finding the natural creative flow and working with that instead of against it. But it’s your personal flow that is important, and that is different for each person. So the only way to find your flow is to try different things like varying the time of the day when you write, where you write and what do you do to recharge your creative energy.
Writing Tip 4: This is a journey.
I believe the journey of writing a story should be just as much fun as the end product. The final published novel is the end goal, but don’t lose sight of the importance of writing, editing, redrafting and marketing along the way. Enjoy each step for what it is, and how it is moving you toward a published book.
Writing Tip 5: Give yourself a break.
I worry if I don’t write that maybe I’m blocked. For instance, there have been times when I haven’t been writing poems and I get worried: What if I can’t write anymore? There’s the enemy Fear. So I bind up Fear, grab him tight and do a little self-reflection. At the times when I haven’t written poetry, I’ve been busy with other areas of my life, or I’ve been writing a novel or neck-deep in editing, so it makes sense that I didn’t have the creative energy (or creative space) to write a poem. And that’s fine, because later, once the novel is out of the way and life is less chaotic, then the poems come flooding out onto the page once more. Ebb and flow. It’s more productive and less stressful if I work with this natural flow.
So remember to give yourself a break, work with the flow and enjoy the journey of writing your book.
Lilliana Rose has poems, short stories and novellas published with various indie presses in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. She enjoys building worlds and creating characters. Check out her work at www.lillianarose.com