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7 Steps to Nurturing Your Writing Process

Quill for writing

Quill for writing

It takes discipline to become a good writer.  One has to work at the craft of writing on a regular basis in order to grow and mature.  What I hear from aspiring writers is that sometimes they just don’t have anything to write about, that their words aren’t flowing.  Here are some tricks that may help inspire the writer in you!

1)       Create your favorite writing corner.  On your writing desk, place your favorite items that remind you of writing. Rocks gathered from your favorite hiking spot, quotes, beads, tokens of importance, set the stage to let creativity begin.

2)      Institute morning pages, the everyday routine of “dumping” your thoughts on paper before you actually begin writing creatively.  While the morning pages may spark an idea for you to use while writing creatively, more often than not, it gets rid of the to do lists in your head, along with the should and stresses of everyday life, and allows you the space to form new ideas.  Julie Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, suggests three morning pages a day.  I find myself writing until I arrive at a place where I have clarity and am ready to jump into a writing project.

3)      Cultivate curiosity or interest in a certain subject.  Instead of asking ‘why’, state, “I’m curious about that.” Start your sentences with, ”I wonder if…”.   Explore options, new ideas, and realize that the world is not black and white.  There are always shades of gray to explore.

4)      Explore alternative perspectives when undertaking a project. Look at it from not only your point of view, but a point of view from anyone in your story.  Maybe look at an experience from an inanimate object, or an animal.  Look at the setting and see if another place or time would make more sense.  When you begin to explore other viewpoints, you gain clarity in your own point of view, and can write about it with more detail.

5)      There will be times when you need to sit with your writing.  You may write a piece and not feel that it is complete.  It’s okay to leave it and come back to it at another time.  And you may also feel that when you come back, you may need to change the initial writing. Know that it is okay. You are a different person today then you were even last week. Be open to continuous experimentation and revision.

6)      Create a word/picture/quote book you can use to inspire your writing. When you find a quote or a picture that starts the creative juices flowing, put it into a creativity book where you can return to it when your creativity runs low.  You may even want to try writing prompts that help you create scenes and characters in different situations.

7)      Be okay with the ebb and flow of the writing process. In the writing of my book, there were periods of weeks where I couldn’t write, usually when the subject matter was difficult.  One way to get the juices flowing again is to write about your why.  “I write because…”  When you are connected passionately to why you do something, you find a way to make it happen.

8)      Finally, master what you are good at.  You are the author of your own life and no one has your life experiences.  Write about both the joys and sorrows of your life. Everyone knows that life is not rosy all the time.  When you connect to the authentic voice inside and have the courage to speak your truth, however dark it may be, you give others permission to be themselves.  Healing and freeing ourselves from the past is how we begin to heal the world.

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