Getting words on the page

The hardest part about writing is writing. You can know your story inside-out but sometimes getting those words from inside your head onto the page feels impossible. These are the five things I do to get the words flowing.

  1. Know your best time to write. Some people are more productive in the morning. Others, like me, write better at night. Everyone is different. Some people write for short periods, while others can write for hours. Find what works best for you and commit to it.
  2. Avoid distractions. I have to check social media before I pick up a pen, otherwise my brain gets curious I could be missing out on something. Then I leave my phone in another room. I can listen to music while blogging or getting ready to write, but once I’m in the zone I like quiet so I can focus on the voices of my characters. If music helps you stay in the zone, then take advantage of that.
  3. No one is going to make you write. It’s entirely up to you to find the motivation to fill that word document. You’re also the only person who will reap the benefits in the beginning. You may have to make sacrifices, I know I have, but if writing is important to you, you wouldn’t let anything hold you back.
  4. Inspiration doesn’t come to you. Put on music that gets your thoughts flowing. Scrawl through Pinterest. Read books like yours and those entirely different. Go people watching or for a walk. Do what it takes to get your head in the right place, knowing that sometimes you have to write without inspiration. The vast majority of the time you won’t feel inspired, you might even resent what you’re writing, but if you start the words will come. “The water doesn’t flow until the facet is turned on” – Stephen King
  5. Write now, edit later. Your first draft will be the worst thing you’ve ever read. Accept it and write it anyway. If you spend all your time getting the first few chapters right, you’ll never make it to the end. From the end you’ll see your story in a new light and from there it’s easier to go back and make changes. You can edit as many times as you need but you can’t edit words that haven’t been written yet.

2 thoughts on “Getting words on the page

  1. Some great points here, Hannah! Thanks for listing them! I’ve only just learnt the last point ‘Write now, Edit later’. Trying to do it all at once is basically the death of your story/novel/article. Just getting it all on paper first, without looking back, is an achievement in itself!

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