1. Michael Shaw
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    Michael Shaw Member

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    Getting in the writing "Groove"

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Michael Shaw, Jun 10, 2013.

    Note: this seemed like a different enough topic from 'Sticky: what's your writing process?' and it is a long post as well, but if it is in the wrong place, let me know.

    Getting in the Writing "Groove" (i.e. the writing mood)

    As you’d already expect from someone on this forum, I love to write.

    It’s just something I really enjoy to do. But at the same time, we all know that it requires thought and consideration. Sometimes I find myself unable to stop writing; the words just seem to come out with ease. Other times I feel like I have to push myself to write. It’s harder sometimes than others.
    Have you ever felt like this? When it comes to passions, sometimes we just don’t feel like doing them, and other times we can’t get enough. The question is, then, how do we do well within our writing at all times? Is there a way to produce the same quality of writing regardless of if we are in that “groove” or not? Or, is there a way to produce that “groove” at will? This post is subjective in a sense that is just based on experience, but maybe you’ll find it helpful for your own writing. Here are some basic tips that have helped me in my own writing.

    Staying in the groove: Three helpful tips.


    1. Listen to music while doing it.
    I played golf in high school, and one thing that my instructor suggested, and that I even saw other golfers do, is to listen to steady, rhythmic music while I practice. It keeps the swing at a rhythm, and it keeps all other externals drowned out. This has even been true in writing. Listening to music while writing can fuel you to keep doing it. One suggestion on music is that it may be best to listen to songs with little to no vocals in them. If you listen to words while you try to write words, it can be distracting, and it might even affect what you write. Instrumental tracks could be the best help to keep you in that writing “groove.”

    2. Travel.
    I have everything I need to write. I have a computer that I can use. I now have a wireless keyboard that can sync to any of my devices. There is no lack of ability or accessibility for me when it comes to writing. Yet one summer, a time when I was trying to finish my first book (which is now finished, yay!), I didn’t feel the push to keep writing. I had all the necessary tools, but I wasn’t getting the drive to complete the novel. Then when my family took a trip to the beach, I was writing all the time. I wrote sitting on the shore, in front of the waves. I wrote sitting next to the pool. I wrote in the middle of the night, in my room. I used my phone to write. And I wrote quite a bit on the trip. I had less, technically speaking, on hand to write with, but traveling fueled me to write. Whether it’s the change of scenery, or just the break from routine, traveling can be an amazing tool to push you forward in pursuing goals and keeping in with your passions and abilities.

    3. Take advantage of productive times
    I mentioned earlier that when it comes to passions, sometimes we feel like doing them more than others. Don’t let those moments pass. Take advantage of them! If you really feel like writing, write when you feel like writing! Don’t let that feeling fly away! Of course, this is assuming that you are not occupied in other important matters. But if you’re sitting around, watching TV, or playing video games, and you get that desire to work, to complete something, or to create, then do it! Those times when you get that feeling can result in some great ideas. Sometimes you have to push yourself to get parts of writing done. But when you have the desire to do it, jump on that desire!

    So, this was a short list, but these three things have helped me personally. If you want your “groove” to be a productive one, try these tools out for yourself. You may get some great things done/made from it!


    What keeps you in the “groove”? Have the suggestions in this list helped you as well? Have they not? I’d like to hear what helps you all write as well. Thanks for reading, everyone.

    Have a great day!

    
Michael
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I think through the chapter I'm working on when I walk my dogs.

    Sometimes I'll write pages without stop. But sometimes I write paragraphs and break by going online. It just depends.
     
  3. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    I dislike listening to music all the time when I write, but if I have a sad scene or an action-packed chase, I will listen to the appropriate music whilst I write the scene. A little strange, but it helps me get across the emotion and setting a little more.

    I definitely agree with no. 3; some people, even when they feel inspired, do nothing about it. I find this hard to accept - finding your inspiration again could take days (but I'm not saying we shouldn't write when we're not inspired). Grab a pen or an iPad, run to the nearest computer: just write!
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personally, I don't believe in getting in the "mood". Too much like waiting for inspiration. You want to be a writer, you write.
     
  5. Razr
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    Razr New Member

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    I normally write only when the words are flowing freely becuase that means I really know what I'm talking about but if it takes me an hour just to write a simple paragraph then I simply shut my book cause in my experience,chances are what i've just written is complete crap.but i think it just depends on the writer themselves.others beat the words out and others just them flow freely.:cool:
     
  6. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write when and if I find time. This doesn't happen often enough so that I get stuck, and I can usually get straight into it. However, I'm a hobbyist, and therefore am in a different situation from the professionals and aspiring professionals.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    whenever something worth writing occurs to me [day or night], i'm automatically 'in the mood' and don't have to 'get' there...

    nor do i have to do anything to 'stay' there...

    i write on anything that's handy and always have paper and pen handy, if not actually sitting at the computer...

    i've been schlepping all over the world for decades, but never had to 'travel' for motivation or inspiration...

    i only listen to music if i want to 'be' in a certain place while writing about it... such as playing mariachi music when writing about mexico, or bazouki, when a story is set in greece... otherwise, i prefer silence...

    i've been writing for publication since high school in the mid-50s, full time as a freelancer and writing services provider since the early 80s, so didn't need to read the posted suggestions...
     
  8. Caramello Koala
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    Caramello Koala Member

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    It seems like you only posted in this thread to show your disinterest in the OP's suggestions and to imply that you're above 'guideline' threads such as this. The last line 'so didn't need to read the posted suggestions...' is plain rude and arrogant. Way to shut the OP down.

    To the OP, you post some interesting guidelines for getting in the 'zone', and they go to show how individual the writing process is. While I definitely get a lot of inspiration for writing when I travel, I rarely find myself writing fiction while I'm there as my mind is too focused on the experiences I am having. I usually keep a travel journal though, and the descriptions of sights, sounds and people all get somehow - either consciously or unconsciously - thrown in the melting pot of my fiction writing. For example, I'm currently writing a short story that fuses a lot of my memories of a 3 month SE Asia trip I had, and not only does it make the story more authentic, but also much easier to write as I can almost teleport back there when I close my eyes.

    Like the other members have mentioned I too don't like to listen to music while I'm writing as I find it distracts me too much. The exception to this is if a certain song fills me with inspiration to write a particular story, then I'll start writing it with that song still playing. I haven't been here long enough to post links but there's a site I sometimes use called rainymoods, it just plays the sound of rainfall constantly. Not only do I find the sound of rain deeply relaxing but I also find it helps me ward off distracting thoughts and concentrate purely on writing. After all, the best times to write are when you are nice and cosy and it is pouring outside.

    I'll often think about my novel in progress while I'm working, or eating, or hiking, or just about any activity, and then when I have the time I'll usually have enough inspiration to continue on with the story. But in my opinion the best way to write is to adopt a somewhat disciplined routine, by writing in the same place, at roughly the same time, every day, and to write without filter or ego blocking your words (write first, edit later). After a while of doing this you won't have to wait for inspiration as much. It's best not to get stuck in the mindset that you can only write when inspiration hits you, as this mentality could potentially hold you back, especially if you desire to make a living as a writer.
     
  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Unfortunately my productive times always come at around midnight, when my husband goes to bed... which means I go to bed... :rolleyes:

    I swear I have writer's block right now... *sigh* I don't think I've typed more than 3 sentences in a roll before I run out of inspiration these days.
     
  10. Michael Shaw
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    Michael Shaw Member

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    Thanks for the responses everyone!
    To those who expressed that they did not need to get in the mood or that my suggestions were not needed to be read, I did not assume superiority by starting this thread. I merely posted some things that have helped me in my own writing. If you are writing for a living, of course you have to write regardless of if you want to or not. I do not write for a living and I still wrote at times that I didn't feel in the mood, because in the end I cared about my novel, and to me it was worth finishing. I finished my book, but I didn't use this three-item list every time I wrote. This thread was not meant to be taken personally or as authoritative advice; that should be more than clear.
     
  11. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    where the mind is without fear...
    I won't mind even if the post was meant to be authoritative. After all you have completed a book while many of us here don't :) The only thing I would say is that I pity your travelling partners ;)
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    caramello...
    i'm afraid you misinterpreted my intent... i was merely answering the op's questions in order... that referred to his last two questions:

    and was meant only to explain why i didn't read his entire post... i was not at all intending to be disrespectful of the op or his post and i'm sorry you took my words to mean what they absolutely did not... the fault is mine for forgetting to paste the questions into my post...

    michael...
    i'm sorry my words were taken wrong and see that i should have made my intent more clear by including your questions in my post... please accept my apology for the oversight... it was good of you to have shared those helpful suggestions...

    love and hugs to all, maia
     
  13. Jade
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    Jade Active Member

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    No I found your suggestions helpful, and I thought by starting this sort of thread you were doing the opposite of assuming superiority. :)

    I like your suggestions, except travel... that's good for developing ideas I find but if I'm midway through a story it tends to go off track if I'm interrupted or distracted by changes in scenery.

    Like you, I usually find it hard to settle down to write. I always have the stories and ideas I'm excited about ready, fixed in mind, but the words take a lot more effort and it takes me a long time get anything written down. I envy the people who can sit down and start typing, but I disagree that people who can't do that aren't motivated or inspired enough in regards to their work. A lot of the delay and distraction I experience is due to being very self-critical, and anxious to get it as close to 'right' the first time instead of being disheartened during the revisions. Sometimes it gets to the stage where it makes me wonder if I should write at all, and whether I should look into making short films instead, but then I love books far more than films, and when I read something great, that's inspiring.

    For me the writing groove is being in the mood to shut the critic up :p, and my top strategy for motivating myself: to read something great written by someone else and when those productive times you mentioned happen, sit on my bedroom floor out of reach of anything but a pen and paper :rolleyes:.
     
  14. Michael Shaw
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    Michael Shaw Member

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    Thanks Maia. It's water under the bridge.
    The misunderstanding aside, I appreciate the insight and opinions you gave. I'm new to this forum and to the whole publishing game, so it's cool to be able to communicate with people who are experienced in both those areas

    Michael
     
  15. lonelygirl1984
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    lonelygirl1984 New Member

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    I can't listen to music while writing because I get distracted easily because of my ADD. I also usually can only write when i'm home alone or late at night when everyone is in bed so I can concentrate.
     

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