1. Track your cycle or/and the moon cycle alongside your creativity and mood. Within three months/cycles, you will have a fair idea of when you tend to be at your most creative. Keep those days for writing ONLY – plan your writing days around those creative days. Beware, they’re not necessarily your highest-energy days. For me, they tend to be towards the end of my cycle, when I want to retreat into my ‘writing womb’, isolate myself, and think and write deeply. However, they can also be just after my period, like NOWWWW! I have been feeling super inspired the past couple of days, which were also around the Full Moon, so it is worth noting what she’s up to as well, when you track your creative cycle and your own cycle (if you have one)!
2. Create a writing space that is yours only. If it can’t be a permanent feature in your flat or house, set it up the night before and sit down at the desk or table (or sofa or bean cushion – whatever and wherever it is) as soon as you get up.
3. If you haven’t already, create a spreadsheet where you will note each time the date, the number of words and the time spent on your writing. You do mean business.
4. The night before (if you write first thing in the morning – if not, plan ahead, a few hours before you intend to write), on your computer (if you write straight into your computer), close all the tabs apart from Toggl (you can set up an account very quickly for free) or Tomato Timer (you don’t need to set up an account, just start using it straight away). (I will write a whole blog post about productivity and how I use Toggl soon.)
5. Set your timer (egg, tomato, cat, whatever physical timer you may have) or start Toggl on your computer (or your phone, but ideally not there otherwise you may be tempted to check Insta, Facebook, your emails, your calendar, the weather, etc. instead of writing) or Tomato Timer. I like Toggl because I can track how many minutes or hours I write every week (you get sent a report every Monday for the previous week).
6. Turn off your phone (or at least put it on ‘silent’ or on ‘priority’) and put it far away from your writing space. Even better, set it on aeroplane mode every night and never turn it back on until you have done what you consider your priority in life/that day: yoga, meditation, running, writing.
7. Light a candle and put on your wrists a drop of an essential oil that is dedicated to your writing. For me, it is ‘Cheer’ from dōTERRA. Smell it several times and start writing.
8. If you don’t know what to start with, just write ‘I don’t know what to write, I don’t know what to write, I don’t know what to write’ until the right words for your book come to you.
9. If this is one of your highly creative and productive days according to your cycle or the moon cycle, keep writing until you feel you are done for the day. If it’s a day where you only have 20 or 30 minutes (or an hour!), write until that time is up on your timer or in Toggl or Tomato Timer (the timer is set for 25 minutes in the latter).
10. End your writing session with the idea that you want to develop next time you sit down to write and then note the date, number of words and time spent on your writing in your spreadsheet. That’s when Toggl comes in handy – it calculates for you the amount of time spent on your task as well as showing you the start and end times.
I wrote this blog post in 30 minutes, Toggl tells me 🙂
When I woke up this morning at 6.20am (completely naturally), I ‘heard’ the title for this blog post and the first point. When I sat down, I had no idea what else I was going to write, but I put my ‘writing cap’ on, started Toggl and the other nine points came to me as I wrote.
Sometimes, all you need is ONE sentence, or even ONE word.
PS: When I went onto Instagram after writing this post, I happened to see this sponsored post by Toggl!