Being a writer is a full time job. You are not on vacation even when you are on vacation because you are constantly thinking about what to write next! Being creative 24*7 is quite a challenge and a very difficult one to live up to. We, at Oorja Biz Ops have been brainstorming about changes we can bring about in our daily life, to help refuel the creativity. Here are five hacks that will work for you to write better (they certainly did, for us !):
Write Better Hack #1 – Start your day early
Being an early riser has a lot more advantages than you think. This is the best way to give your day a head start. Schedule the first 45 minutes of your day to write five hundred words of anything you can think about. With consistent practice you will see your writing skills improve significantly in just a matter of weeks. Accomplishing a task right at the beginning of the day is also a great confident booster and keeps you pumped up all through the day.
Write Better Hack #2 – Replace the caffeine
Did we hear a collective gasp? We know what coffee means to writers. For many, it can be impossible to start a day without a cup. However, it is a proven fact that a regular dose of caffeine is not a very healthy thing for your body. Caffeine also causes anxiety and restlessness which may not be what you need when you are already on the edge due to work stress. Try and replace caffeine with healthier options like green tea or even regular tea or some other healthy beverage. Might be worth it to give it a shot and notice the difference!
Write Better Hack #3 – Find ‘me time’
Gifting yourself some time is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself and the best hack to trigger your writing creativity. Set aside about 45 minutes of your day, every day, to recharge your soul simply by indulging yourself. Cook, bake, garden, sing, dance, paint – whatever helps you connect with your inner self and makes you happy. Finding ‘me time’ can be a tall order given the lifestyles we lead. This problem may be solved by going back to what we said about waking up early. That way, you will have more time than you usually do. Even if it’s just an hour earlier, it still gives you some space to fit ‘me time’ into your otherwise cramped day.
Write Better Hack #4 – Read Often, Read More
Read as much as, or more than you write. Reading helps recharge your intellectual resources and keeps those brainy ideas flowing. Reading fires your imagination – the stuff writers are made of. As Stephen King wrote in “On Writing”:
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut. . . .
It’s hard for me to believe that people who read very little (or not at all in some cases) should presume to write and expect people to like what they have written, but I know it’s true. If I had a nickel for every person who ever told me he/she wanted to become a writer but didn’t have time to read, I could buy myself a pretty good steak dinner. Can I be blunt on this subject? If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.
Just like a balanced diet is essential for a healthy body, balanced reading is crucial for a healthy mind and will make you think in different directions. Make sure your reading list consists of a mixed dose of current affairs, fiction and non-fiction. What you read, reflects in what and how you write.
Write Better Hack #5 – Be Honest with Yourself
While it is crucial to have expectations from oneself, at the same time, it is important to have goals which are practical and achievable. Setting long term targets on a high-on-red-bull day, probably isn’t a good idea. What we mean is, enthusiasm is vital, however, a lot of times we tend to become over enthusiastic with our goals and go on over drive trying to achieve them. Being honest with yourself about what you can and cannot achieve in a given period of time does not mean tardiness, it means being practical. But then, a little pressure now and then does help to shoo the devil called Procrastination away!
And finally, after putting our neck on the line, we leave you with the words from our idol and mentor, Seth Godin :
The biggest takeaway for anyone seeking to write is this: don’t go looking for the way other authors do their work. You won’t find many who are consistent enough to copy, and there are enough variations in approach that it’s obvious that it’s not like hitting home runs or swinging a golf club. There isn’t a standard approach, there’s only what works for you (and what doesn’t).
We hope you enjoyed our post. We would love to hear from you on what you do to help you write more and write better!
Image Courtesy : Calvin and Hobbes (Bill Watterson)