Five Tips for Writers Who Think Everything Has to Be In Order In Order to Write

I know my writer friends out there are yelling at the screen right now, "Just write! You'll never have everything in order; just do it!"

I struggle with sitting down every day and putting words to paper, or digitally speaking, words to screen. I feel guilty because the daily needs my attention: laundry needs folding, dishes need drying, closet clutter needs organizing, dinner needs to be cooked. Not to mention, my family needs me, and I love being available for them.

Then, there's the plethora of thoughts and ideas swirling around in my head. A sort of wrestling match, sending this writer into the chaos of deciding what to write about. It's difficult to call all thoughts to a halt in order to pin down one idea to be developed into a blogpost, an article, or book project. If it was left up to me, I obviously would never get anything written. 

Writing requires discipline, and we all know most creative people aren't what you'd call very disciplined or structured. Our minds are always thinking and creating. (Note: I'm speaking in generalities of course.)

Good intentions do not get the job done. I may have good intentions of doing laundry, but after stepping into the laundry room I decide it has to be reorganized before I can even turn on the washing machine. In order to wash the clothes, the laundry room must be in order.

I may begin to prepare for dinner and notice the dry rack beside the sink is full of dishes needing to be put away. I have to have my kitchen in order before I can begin a meal.

So, when it comes to writing, it's no wonder I struggle. Writing is my intention, but if my writing space is in disarray I must put everything in order in order to write.

A clean space provides calm so I can work.

Once I'm in the zone, though, I'm all in. I've been known to not even realize someone has walked into the room, called my name several times, fixed their lunch, eaten and washed their dishes. I'm totally locked into what I'm doing, and it would take a freak of nature to get my attention. My family has learned it's futile to speak to me when I'm blogging, emailing, or writing. I don't hear them, therefore I don't respond. I know; sad, but true.

Here are 5 tips for those like me who think everything needs to be in order in order to write:

1. Just write.

Write thoughts, ideas, fragmented sentences... whatever comes to mind. Just start.

2. Enjoy the process. Don't rush it.

Ideas will eventually settle into something concrete. 

3. Don't edit as you write.

Editing is the last of the process. If you edit as you go, it can hinder thoughts and slow the process down. 

4. Good writers are always reading. 

Read a lot. Reading other writers' works always stirs up ideas and ways to communicate better. 

5. Take frequent breaks.

Every 45 minutes or so, move around, go for a walk, do a household chore. Stepping away clears the mind and reenergizes the spirit. Walking away will bring us back. 

Everything does not have to be in order in order to write. If it were not so, no words would ever be penned.

I'd love to know what tips have helped you. Please comment below.

Happy writing!

My Pleasure,