Friday, March 23, 2012

Hands In the Air~You Are On The Writing Roller Coaster!

Take a good looooong look at this roller coaster!
There are some ups and downs not to mention a few turns. WOW! Doesn't that sound a lot like writing? The emotions of up and down, not to mention those unexpected turns. Everyone of us go through it.

Some of us hang on and smile and some of us hang on and cry. Either way, there isn't an option to get off. We are WRITERS! We love WRITING! But how we handle the ride can make all the difference in the world.

This was probably the hardest part of writing for me. I NEVER once wanted to quit or give up. But I do get stressed out and that is no fun to me or anyone around me.

Here are a few of my tips and tricks:

1) Take a break. Not a long break, but a fifteen minute break if you get stressed when writing. Lay down and try to concentrate on your breathing. This will help get oxygen to your brain and your stress should begin to lessen and help you refocus.

If your writing career is what is making you ride the roller coaster, take a couple days  and walk away from the novel. Read, walk, be with yourself, do something with your kids, finger paint, meditate, anything creative will encourage your mind to open up. Check out these great tips to help unleash your inner creative kid.

2) Long hand. Don't shoot me! I mean with a pen and paper, old school. Many times throughout the day, I have a hard time starting a new chapter. I grab my pen and journal ( I keep a journal for each book) and I start writing. This really does open up my creativity and get my characters talking to me again.
(I never said I was a neat writer.)

3) Egg timer. And I don't mean make something to eat. Use this handy on line timer at E.gg Timer.

Sometimes we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. Or we set a goal that is entirely too high, but at the time it sounds doable. Get a timer and set it for five minutes.

For five minutes you are committed to doing nothing but writing. The writing can be good or bad, but just write on your story for five minutes. Don't edit. Just write. Do what you love.

Once you are comfortable with the five minutes increase to eight or ten. You are teaching your brain to focus on a chunk of time devoted to writing. No Facebook. No Twitter. No nothing but writing. You will be surprised how many words you can write in under ten minutes.

4) Do your own thing! I'm just giving you suggestions that have helped me. But maybe you do something else. Sometimes I jump up and take my dogs on a twenty minute walk. Especially when it's sunny out and I want to be in it!
Fifteen to twenty minutes is what I have found that I need to regenerate me and my creative juices to help me hold on to the roller coaster and smile.

Me, I never get off the roller coaster. Some days the roller coaster has more twists and turns, but I know that I'm never giving up. I'm going to hold on and smile the entire ride.

What do you do to help this roller coaster life we've chosen?

19 comments:

  1. I'm a long hand writer too x Nice post

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    1. Hi, Kay. There is just something about pen to paper.

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  2. That's the important point I came to yesterday Tonya. The roller coaster never ends. Figure out what works. I've been thinking about going back to my composition notebook lately. Thanks for another motivating post.

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    1. Livia, I highly recommend going back to the basics and if the notebook is what got you motivated, try it:) I've quickly realized that we NEVER get off the roller coaster. Some days the hills aren't there, but they always pop up when least expected.

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  3. Yep, my critique partner and I swear by longhand when we need to think something through or are just stuck.

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    1. Very cool, Debbie. I actually love long hand.

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  4. I love switching up my writing space.
    It's also helpful for me to set a daily goal. And having an accountability partner really helps me keep my focus. :)
    Great post!

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    1. Abbey, I love that you switch writing spaces. I just redid my office b/c the desk that we've always had was so stifling to my writing. It sounds weird to my family, but as writer's we get it. It was facing the wall and just boring brown wood. Plus my office was open to the house with the open floor plan we have. SOOOO...my sweet husband has completely redone my office and I got a new desk, DOORS!, and it's all mine. (this only caused me to get a new kitchen too:))))
      Anyways, the space is so important. Since I've gotten my new office, I've written over 50k words!!!
      Having an accountability is great too.

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  6. Tonya, I also use a journal for each project. I love your suggestion to start writing for five minutes, then eight or ten in order to get the brain to focus on writing. This is great advice, especially for someone just beginning to write. Great blog. I look forward to reading more.

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    1. Cherlisa, thank you so much for stopping by! When I first started out, I was flooded with ideas. Once those ideas ran out, I was overwhelmed with what to write next. The timer really helped me just focus on writing. It trained my brain that when I'm in front of my computer, it's writing time. I hope it helps.

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  7. Hi Tonya!

    Just the other day I picked out a notebook with a pretty cover and decided this would be my "writing notebook." I realized I was wasting so much time because I didn't/couldn't have my laptop with me. Sheesh, I told myself, don't you remember how to write? Yes, it's horribly sloppy and looks like chicken scratch, but I can read it, and that's what's important!! And on a lunch hour, I can finish a chapter or even get started on a new project!!

    Love the post!!

    Diane

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    1. I LOVE THAT, Diane!! I do keep that notebook with me at all times. I have to. I was writing at football and one of the dad's was walking by. He looked at my notebook and said, "that's not your writing, is it?"
      It was so sloppy and abbreviated that no one but me can understand it.

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  8. I always write out my stories in long hand, too. But I've gotten to the point where I write so fast, sometimes I can't read what I've written;).

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  9. My many enemy is procrastination.
    My second worst problem is that if I don't have at least a full hour available, I have difficulty convincing myself that there's enough time to accomplish anything.
    When I can beat those two foes, I'm good.

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    1. Five minutes is better than none! I write at stop lights! You are with a publisher now, you are going to have to get more disciplined. And you can do it!

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  10. LOL. I clean house. I do laundry. I run errands. And when done, I'm back with a vengenance. Love sticky notes and while I'm doing something else, jot down an idea or two or three. Another creative pursuit can ignite more passion as well.

    Good stuff!

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    1. Vicki, you are talking my language. I'm the queen and sucker for sticky notes. I use one of those sticky notes wall calendars for my story board. I'd never seen one until last year and I bought a few just in case they quit making them. That always seem to happen to me, I love something and then they discontinue them....sigh....
      We are all victims to the laundry monster;))

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