“Despite what anyone will tell you, the word “Writer” is a verb, not a noun. A “Writer” is what you do, it’s not what you are. A “Writer” is an occurrence, a happening, an action.”Anthony Boyd
Back in November 2019 I challenged myself to get off social media and write. The goal was to write atleast one article everyday for the month of November. I ended up writing 32 articles.
I was prompted to do this because I wanted to take myself seriously as a writer. I’m not the best writer out there but I know what it takes to be a writer. Writing.
So that’s what I set out to do.
I thought it would be easy. But just as soon as it proved to be easy while getting into flow, just like that I ran out of steam.
It wasn’t that I ran out of ideas or anything. I just didn’t have the energy for some reason. Determined not to let that stop me I pushed through. I like to push my limits. During that process, I found what worked.
Here are a few tips that will help you get your juices flowing. Now what you produce is totally up to what’s in your “well.”
These are 10 tips that will help you pump liquid gold of from your subconscious.
1 — Caffeine
At first this wasn’t so obvious to me. I discovered the power of caffeine when I started working the graveyard shift 9 years ago. After work, I would want to train at the gym. The only way that was going to happen right after a grueling shift was if I had caffeine in my system.
Since I made an effort to write everyday for 30 days, I wasn’t going to let a day go by before I put something down on my screen. So, I made myself a cup of black coffee during the week and noticed that I was much more productive.
I didn’t know how popular caffeine was amongst writers until I started taking blogging seriously. This drug stimulates you, helps you get out of your own way so that you can spill your guts on the page.
The only thing you have to watch out for is building up a tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.
Be sure to consume caffeine as far away from bed time as possible as it can keep you up. Also, it’s worth noting that caffeine has a half life of 5 hours. This means that half of the dose you consume is left in your system 5 hours after you’ve consumed it. For example, if you consume 100mg of caffeine at noon, 50mg will be left in your system at 5pm. And at 10pm 25mg will be left in your system and so on and so forth.
It’s best to take it as early as possible so that you can get some good sleep. Use the understanding of caffeine’s half life to time when you take it.
Oh and another thing, caffeine is a diuretic. You should be drinking sufficient amounts of water to stay hydrated.
And another thing that many caffeine junkies don’t consider, be sure to consume enough calcium daily as caffeine causes the body to use it up.
Get hopped up on as much caffeine as safely possible!
2 — Creatine
I’ve been consuming creatine for many years now. Just recently I heard that creatine is a nootropic.
Creatine has been shown to increase strength and body composition but now scientists are looking at creatine for increased immune response as well as brain performance.
Give it a try if you want.
3 — Sit Down To Write
In order to write you have to make time to sit down and write. Writing requires that you actually put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard or whatever it is, and write.
Many people, including myself miss this major key.
There were days when I let the whole day go by without writing. It was odd. It was almost as if I was expecting the words to write themselves.
4 — Work On A Clear Work Area
Don’t pride yourself on being disorganized. Clear your work area. You’ll find this helps you immensely. Whatever is going on on the outside, influences what’s going on on the inside.
Get a neat little work area together so that you can come and write everyday. It makes everything simpler.
Look at your work area now.
Is it clean? If it’s not clean, do you feel like working in that area? Probably not.
5 — Write fast!
Write fast. On the days that I was having issues putting material down on paper, it wasn’t that I didn’t have any ideas. It was that I didn’t trust myself. I started judging myself, my ideas, my purpose before I even started writing. It was a bucket of bogus, nonsensical chatter getting in my way.
So I started to write fast. I wrote so fast that the mental chatter, self doubt and imposter syndrome didn’t have a chance to gain ground.
Every time I would entertain those negative thoughts I ended up writing minute amounts of work in comparison to the days where I wrote fast and didn’t entertain the negative nonsense bouncing around in my skull.
6 — Write As Soon As You Get Inspiration
Don’t disrespect the ether by letting ideas go to waste. Sometimes the muse feels like finding you and blessing you at inopportune times.
For me, inspiration comes when I’m about to hop in the shower. I wrote a whole article, butt naked, standing in front of the shower because the muse decided to pay me a visit at that particular moment.
It was odd to say the least but you can’t be choosy when some good ideas come to you.
Take advantage when they come to you. You may hit a dry spell one day and wish you acted on inspiration when it knocked on your door.
7 — The One Song Playlist
Get a song you like and put it on repeat. Make sure that it’s an instrumental, no words. Listen to the song about 4–5 times before you actually start writing. Let the beat merge with your being.
This is how you let your writing flow. Write to a beat. It’s like writing to a metronome but more sophisticated.
On days when I had no motivation to write, I let a nice song, with no words, carry me through many a 2000 word articles.
I just wrote and wrote and wrote. I let the beat carry me down the page.
8 — Edit When You’re Finished
I know for a fact you’re tempted to edit while you’re writing. This is a bad idea. Let the spelling mistakes, grammar and all that go. Writing is like sculpting. You’re taking raw material and making something out of it. Your writing needs to take a shape, a form before you polish it. No need to use sandpaper to smooth the edges of an amorphous blob.
It’s your job to get the block of raw material down on the page first before massaging it.
Refrain from editing while you’re writing because editing requires that you use a different part of the brain than writing.
Editing and creating are two different things.
Editing is destructive. Creating is constructive.
Editing is restricting. Creating is free flowing.
The moment you start to edit, you start to censor, you start to judge, you fall out of flow.
Creation is free from all of the above. So make sure you edit on the following day.
If you’re in a creative mood one day, get as much rough drafts down as possible. Just write. Don’t worry about the finished product.
Use a whole other day for that.
9 — Edit Without Mercy
You have to be willing to kill off most of your work if that’s what it takes to get a finely tuned piece.
I still struggle with this myself because each and every word I write is precious to me. If you’re the same, do this.
Take sentences, phrases, lines that you thought were cool in the moment. Move them to a notepad. Maybe you can use them in other pieces or even as writing prompts for other articles.
Delete useless words that zap the energy out of sentences. There are certain words that are just vampiric. Words such as: “really, very, absolutely.” Not only do they zap the energy from a sentence but it dilutes the word that it precedes. Get rid of them.
Your writing isn’t an academic assignment that you’re required to meet a word count for. This is your creation. Strength it by subtracting words in order to multiply the effect it has on the audience.
If a paragraph doesn’t fit, chuck it into a notepad along with those vampiric words.
Sometimes we get attached to blocks of texts that just doesn’t belong.
Don’t hesitate to move a block of text to it’s appropriate spot even if it means you have to change the wording in the paragraphs adjacent to them.
Sometimes our writing comes out like a puzzle set that we have to arrange in order to form a coherent picture.
You’ll rarely find a piece that doesn’t fit but when you do, throw it out along with anything else that’s obscuring your canvas.
10 — You’re Not An Imposter
This is your story. You’re not an imposter trying to be someone else, that is, unless you’re trying to be someone else.
You’re you. Not them. Embrace that.
There are no gatekeepers to writing. The internet makes sure of that.
There’s nothing stopping you from writing your story, doing a little(or a lot) of SEO, and getting discovered by your audience.
We tend to hesitate to call ourselves writers. I don’t know where the pompous attitude about writing comes from in the mainstream but, and I’m going to contradict myself here so hold on, it’s just putting words down.
We are literally typing words on a screen. It’s not that serious. If you really want to write then nothing is holding you back.
It’s possible to self publish anywhere you want on any platform. And most of them are free.
As I reached day 10 in my 30 day writing challenge in November I started to feel like a writer because I was writing.
Then I quickly felt something go off in the back of my mind. It felt like I was faking it for some reason.
It was bugging me for a few days but I kept on trucking. It was a nothing matter to me.
Despite what anyone will tell you, the word “writer” is a verb, not a noun. A Writer is what you do, it’s not what you are.
A “Writer” is an occurrence, a happening, an action.
So…BE a “Writer.”