Five Little Tricks to Keep Writing

Hello everyone!

If you read my last (slightly doom-and-gloom) post, you might know that I’ve been struggling to motivate myself recently — to write, to work, to do most things (except to eat… I’m always ready to eat). Initially I was letting this get me down, but I’ve thought about it, and realised: if your brain doesn’t want to comply, sometimes you just need to let it be. But if it’s being too stubborn, sometimes there are ways to trick it.

Take writing, for example. Sometimes even the things that are supposed to be fun and enjoyable seem like chores. Yet most writers recommend writing everyday if you want to improve.

How can you do this if your brain is telling you to stay in bed until 2 p.m. to stare at the endless void that is the Internet?

Trick yourself into it. Write without letting your brain know you’re writing, in the following ways:

1. Post-it note stories

Forget filling a blank page, how about covering the surface of a post-it note first? I don’t know about you, but the prospect of an empty document or a fresh notebook page can be daunting, especially if I’m feeling empty of ideas. In comparison, a post-it note seems like a much more comfortable step to begin with.

Because it’s nothing official like putting pen to the perfect page of a new notebook, you can doodle, scribble, try whatever your heart desires. Maybe challenge yourself to tell a whole story within the limited space, or see if you can fill the note without saying anything at all. Doodle with your eyes closed and then tell the story around your drawing. If an idea begins to blossom, you can always advance to the next step: the revision card. 

kelly-sikkema-273133*Cue dramatic music* | Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

2. Tales of post-its past

If you’re having trouble even filling out a post-it note, worry not. Try taking a look at notes you’ve written before, whether those are reminders, shopping lists, whatever. Instead of starting from scratch, change one aspect of something you’ve previously written. Maybe your shopping list suddenly has dragon meat; or your reminder mysteriously instructs you to hire a fruit juggler. Take the story from there: what would happen next?

Continue reading “Five Little Tricks to Keep Writing”

Mission Extreme Writing: Update #1

Since the launch of Mission: Extreme Writing, I have been writing more, but only in flashes and bursts. No full stories have been completed (yet) and I also haven’t checked the total word count because I have a feeling it’ll be embarrassingly low. So for now, word and story count are both to be determined.

I’ve dug up some forgotten unfinished projects, though, so I should have at least one story by the end of this week!

Thanks for reading!

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The above photo is derivative of artwork by Mr. Pastel (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). It is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 by Sohini Kumar.

Mission: Extreme Writing

The problem

This summer, I’ve often found myself with a wisp of an idea that just won’t grow into something substantial. Sometimes it’s an empty blog post with only a title, sometimes a document called ‘12345’ with a few sentences on it. I can blame writer’s block, I can blame coursework. If I’m feeling up to it, I might even come up with a more creative excuse for why I’m not writing, like…

(Source)

But deep down, I know it’s laziness that’s keeping me from getting any work done. I once read that the most effective tools for writers is a deadline, so that is what I’m giving myself one now. I set one for myself before, but because there were no consequences, I kind of ignored it (or forgot about it). This was me the past two months:

(Source)

The mission

This deadline is different because it’s published, which makes it more ‘official.’ (Right?) Hopefully that will make it harder to ignore. I’m embarking on a mission of extreme writing — it’s kind of like extreme sports except you don’t have to get up (well, you should get up from time to time to stretch your legs and rest your eyes and whatnot). I start university in about a month, and before I return to the world of spine-crushing essays, I want to finish at least five short stories. 

That’s four weeks to write five stories, i.e. 1.25 stories a week.

I don’t have a detailed plan, but I will be writing a little bit everyday for now. I’ll be posting updates here, so if I fail the world will know about it! Well, at least a few people will. If that’s not motivation to succeed I don’t know what is. That, or chocolate. I like chocolate.

Anyways, the regular updates here (should I remember to post them) (just kidding) should make me write at least a little everyday. Let’s see.

Wish me luck, and if you’re a writer, let me know any tips to being productive, or how you get past writer’s block (or just say hi)!

Thanks for reading!