For those of you new to this WordPress site, this site is about me and my writing – and a little about my role-playing, as well. It gives readers a chance to sample my work before purchasing it on the Kindle store; and gives me the chance to say a little about the genesis of each novel, or about the process of writing in general.
The philosophy of creating novels, part two. In the last post I covered the need to write, and a little on the experience of writing (and a few of my disappointments). In this part I will chat about the act of writing itself (or a few aspects of it).
You have to be in the correct mindset if you are to write successfully and with pleasure. You should enjoy your writing, and not let putting pen to paper ever become a chore. If you find that you don’t enjoy writing; and that you can’t rediscover that joy, then it is time to go and do something entirely different.
If you achieve that particular Zen position when you find that the words flow out of you without any hardship at all, then you are in the zone, as Buddha never said. You can write for hours and it will seem that only minutes have gone by. You will not want to tear yourself from whatever it is that you write with, whether computer, notebook, or Egyptian papyrus. The call of nature will have to call quite loudly to send you scurrying off to the loo.
But how do you achieve that measure of Zen calm where the words flow from mind to pen to page? How do you get ‘in the zone’, as some people call it?
Ah, but if we writers knew that, then it would become a place which we would never leave…
There are a few ways in which you can make it easy on yourself, however. One is to limit distractions, if you can. That means don’t have things in the background which will grab your attention, such as the TV or radio. I, myself, cannot stick to those rules as I suffer from extremely bad tinnitus, and I have to have the TV going in the background to try and cover up the sound of the whining in my ears. But, thankfully, not everybody else is like that.
I understand that if you have a family around you that it may be awkward to find times which are peaceful and you will not be disturbed. That is why the life if an author tends to be a lonely one, sometimes even bordering on the misanthropic.
A second way is to have a routine which you do each time that you prepare to begin writing for the day. This actually works, and different writers have different routines, whether having a cocktail in their estate of Goldeneye, or just going for a very long walk. The use of a routine has your mind subconsciously expect to get in the right sort of mood for writing. My routine is to go and get a diet coke and a couple of packets of crisps, before sitting down to write my three thousand words for the day. I need that diet coke, and I will feel out of sorts if I don’t have it.
There may well be other ways of getting in the correct mental state in which to write. You may well find over ones I have never considered. Perhaps you meditate. Perhaps you actually do know Zen. Or maybe you are one of those people who can just switch on the mental taps and have the words flow…
I hope that the above is of some assistance to some other author out there.