Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Writing ZoneMar 15, 2022
By Claire Winter.
Whether it's writer's block, distractions, or endlessly stacking deadlines, the whole writing process can seem like it's against you at times. For those moments where you need to get into the writing mindset, here's a handful of tips to find your flow and get back in the zone:
Appreciate the quiet before the storm
Diving headfirst into your writing may seem like a tempting way to get productive quickly, but more often than not, it isn't effective. Take time beforehand to do nothing. Meditate, go for a wander, have a shower or relaxing bath. Start your day relaxed, and appreciate those moments of inactivity and rest before getting started. They are integral to easing your body and mind into a calm, natural flow state.
Give your productivity a soundtrack
Dead silence in your working environment can be daunting. We naturally want to fill the silence, and our brain will do this by stirring up all sorts of worry. When trying to be creative or productive, it can be easy to spiral. Set up playlists with a mix of mood-setting background music. Relaxing or even exciting instrumentals can help sway your mood and mindset without lyrics to distract your train of thought. From classical music to Lo-fi beats, or even just ambient sounds. Perhaps even compile highlights from film scores, as these are often tailor-made to set a mood and energy for inspiring and motivational scenes in movies, and as such can evoke the same feelings when you try to write.
Be Mindful of your Wellbeing
Forcing productivity when you aren't feeling positive is likely to cause burnout and mistakes. Be kind to your mind, and allow yourself to rest (emotionally and physically). Make sure you eat well; good nutrition and time out will give you the best possible foundation for productive work. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. Find a good balance of rest, physical activity, and nutrition, and your resulting work will thank you for it.
A Home away from Work
Setting up a designated work and writing space in your home, separate from rooms for recreation and sleep, can be vital to getting into the writing spirit. That way, your brain associates the space with working, and your muscle memory can kick off your flow as soon as you move to that space. If you try to be productive where you would usually rest, you can become tired or unfocussed subconsciously.
Be wary of Cabin Fever
As much as a specific workspace can be helpful, sometimes our minds will become uneasy if we spend too long in one spot. Your focus can slip, distractions can form, and your flow can crash out of nowhere. Stir craziness is a real productivity killer and can lead to long term writer's block if it goes unaddressed. If you're starting to feel sick of your work area, take a break to move about, get outside, or at least temporarily work elsewhere for a bit, a nice cafe where you live, or a co-working space are all good options. It can be just the change you need to keep you in flow.
These tips might just help you to get back into a vital flow state and allow you to find a clear and productive writing outlet when you need it the most. Let me know how you get on Instagram @clairewinteruk, or for more tips and blogs, go to clairewinter.info.
Claire Winter is a trainer, coach and host of the Cracking Content podcast. She is passionate about helping coaches and creative entrepreneurs to amplify their expertise through storytelling, content and PR so that they can get more sales and make a bigger impact.
Claire uses a blended coaching and mentoring approach to ignite her client's creativity so they can share their authentic voice and story. She is a trained NCTJ journalist and started her career at ITN in radio and television. She also runs a Facebook community called Cracking Content where she shares writing, content and PR TIPs. You can read more about Claire and her work here.
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