Hola Love Bug!
Today is the first day that I’ve had totally to myself in a while and I’ve had a lot of stuff I’ve wanted to get out on paper. My writer side needs, no…craves, that special space that is just for creating. This usually means somewhere besides my desk. I need to disconnect from my normal Virtual Assistant tasks and even my desktop computer screen in order to make the mind shift into writing mode.
Sometimes this means I move to the living room or the war room (a/k/a dining room lined with whiteboards) and even the bedroom.
Sometimes that doesn’t work the way I need it to. Do you want to know what works best for me?
Leaving the freaking house!
I love working from home, but the energy shift that happens when I leave the house and go somewhere that has a writers vibe puts my little fingers in typing heaven. My mind is able to disconnect from all of the other things that are going on in my business and allows me to focus more and become inspired.
I call these Writing Dates.
There are some essentials to creating the perfect writing date that I have found that work best for me. I’ve broken them down into 7 simple steps for you.
Step 1: Schedule a time
Our lives are busier than ever. Even when it feels like nothing important is getting done. Creating time to write is something that is necessary for several reasons.
- It tells your brain that you are creating that space for it to focus on one particular thing. It a sacred space in time that your mind craves. Your stress and anxiety will thank you for it.
- It tells others around you that you are serious about this whole writing thing and it creates a level of respect. By setting a time, it sets up a boundary around that time that both you and others will respect. If they don’t it’s up to you to enforce it.
- It sends a signal to the Universe that you are serious and when you are serious and focused about it, things like ideas on what to write about start to flow better. (See #1)
Step 2: Find the perfect place to go
Start by looking for a local coffee shop, cafe, restaurant or even the local library, preferably somewhere that offers free Wi-Fi. It doesn’t matter how fast the Wi-Fi is, because your focus is going to be on writing and not surfing the web. It’s just handy for getting onto your blog or to grab your manuscript from the cloud server, or wherever your writing is camping out online. If you do your writing straight from your hard drive, then you don’t have to worry about the Wi-Fi part.
The perfect, ideal spot is different for everyone, but you have to admit that all those stories you hear about writers in coffee shops or cafes just works. It shows people that you are working and even if you don’t realize it, your subconscious will think that everyone around you is holding you accountable for finishing the work.
If you can’t leave where you are at, you can always recreate the coffee shop sounds through the Coffinity app.
Step 3: Bring the essentials
I have a laptop bag that will pack everything I need in it. it’s like a diaper bag for my business. These are the things that I bring on my writing date to be sure I’m prepared but not over doing.
- Pen & Notepad. I am addicted to my girly 4-in-1 pen and moleskine journal. I keep these in my purse at all times to I can jot down those important ideas that just like to happen whenever.
- Business Cards. You never know who you are going to meet. 😉
- Wi-Fi card. (Just in case you end up at the park or a place that has sucky Wi-Fi and need it)
- Earbuds or Headphones. You can’t always control your environment and if it becomes too distracting you can put headphones on and listen to SimplyNoise to help you focus.
Step 4: Survey your surroundings
When you step into the coffee shop or cafe, look around and be sure there is somewhere for you to sit and that you want to be there. Locate the bathroom (necessary when drinking lots of liquids) and a plug for your laptop. I always like to scope out the most comfortable seat possible. (See step 6)
Step 5: Get some munchies
Having something to snack and sip on is essential for writing. Coffee shops are ideal spots to grab your favorite drink and snack. By having something to keep your mouth busy, it helps keep your brain focused on the task at hand.
Step 6: Get comfortable
Some people can pound out their thoughts in minutes while it may take others hours to formulate a blog post. I’m somewhere in the middle of that. I find that I work best under a little pressure. When I have a particular thing I want to write about, the focus from the clarity helps to energize me and write faster, but there are always snags and hangups (great time to grab a munchie or a sip of coffee while your brain works out the snag).
Knowing this, you want to allow yourself at least an hour to write. Find somewhere you will be comfortable sitting for at least an hour. I like to give myself a time limit because I really don’t have all day to write as I please. I have other things to do too.
Step 7: Enjoy the process
Writing something isn’t meant to be a grueling, painful process. It’s meant to get whatever you’ve been yearning to share with the world out there. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to get done. You can always go back and edit it later.
Remember to look up every once and a while to gaze out the window and smile at the girl who is running outside and just got caught in a rain storm.
P.S. The first Saturday in September is National Writing Date Day. If you’d like to join in the fun of having a Writing Date with other writers through the net (and to see what everyone is up to, because that’s the best part), then just click the button below to join! (It’s totally free!)