Have you ever sat down to write and just couldn’t get settled in to write? The page is blank. What do you do?
Here’s what my friends had to say about finding their writing rhythm.
“To get into a rhythm and keep the momentum going, I find three things are key to my success.
1) Write everyday, even if I only have enough time for one paragraph or to reread the scene I’m working on, I have to keep the story on the forefront of my mind, or I fall into a rut that is so hard to climb out of. 2) Never end a writing session in a lull. I try to avoid putting the computer away when I have just finished a scene, or when I’ve come to a good stopping point. I always try to get something new started while it’s fresh in my mind, even if it’s just a paragraph to get the next scene started or a summery of where I want to go with the next scene. It’s so much easier to jump back into the story and continue where I left off when I have something started.
3) Craft/brainstorming partner on speed dial. When I’m discouraged or stuck, talking to my craft partner can (and usually does) make a world of difference. It really helps to have someone who knows where I’m at in my story, so I don’t have to explain the whole plot to ask a simple question.
Andrea Nell, Writer
“I think finding your writing Rhythm comes down to discipline. BIC=behind in chair. Some days the words flow, and others, not so much. I bribe myself when the words are coming slowly…I’ll take a break when I reach a 1000 words and have a nap…or lunch…or fruit. I try not to make my reward chocolate or anything with lots of calories.”
Patricia Bradley, Author
“Um, I haven’t. Haha! But seriously, every book has been different. The length time I’ve had to write each book has been different. So every book has been its own experience and its own beat.
That said, my sweet spot is definitely writing in scenes of 1,500 to 2,000 words–about 90 minutes at a time. And I think I write the smoothest when I do my prep work–think about the scene, let it play out in my mind, have a solid sense of the storyworld, give myself time to sink into it if possible before just typing away.”
Melissa Tagg, Author
As for me? I found a quiet house and music works great. I too work best in 90-minute increments. But not everyday (or week for that matter) do I have that luxury so I invested in a very good pair of headphones. Believe me with four teenagers, their friends and two dogs milling around—the headphones were worth every penny.
I think I was born with a pen in hand to make lists. So pre-work on my story really, really helps me put words on the page.
What about you? What gets words on the page for you?