1. tjc88
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    tjc88 New Member

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    Getting into the "writing zone"

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by tjc88, Nov 15, 2011.

    Everyone seems to have ideal conditions in which they write under, or need specific things to enter the "writing zone". For me, it's some soft music, a quiet room, and a cold caffeinated beverage. What I have found is that many people's ideal writing conditions are quite different. So, how do you get into your "writing zone"?
     
  2. rainshine
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    rainshine Senior Member

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    Has to be quiet, and either late at night or early morning, something about theta brain waves being more active, however in my case...
     
  3. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    When I first started, I wrote by music ... mostly classical, movie soundtracks, and such--anything with words was too distracting. I'd plug in my headphones, put a set of songs on repeat, and go to town. That still works for me, but I found that the music flows into my writing, basically affecting my voice, tone, and pacing (sometimes noticeable enough to where you can actually see the difference between songs). So I quit listening to music while I write, though I still do when brainstorming or thinking up ideas. Nowadays, my writing climate is one free of distractions, which is sometimes hard to achieve. I get the most of my writing done between 8 PM and 4 AM. My beverage of choice is water, but I usually have an endless supply of Reese cups somewhere nearby ... but that's a new development. :)

    I tend to do enough planning with my writing though that I can sit down and write regardless of the environment/setting if I choose. Once I lay out the first paragraph, it's usually smooth sailing from there. Sometimes that first paragraph is hard to come by though, and I can be a great procrastinator.
     
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  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    My only criteria is that nobody is around, looking over my shoulder. Otherwise, I just sit butt in chair and go to it.
     
  5. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    My planning stage takes place in a long hot shower with classical music (though, I would much prefer a hot tub). My writing stage consists of my computer, peace and quiet, a lot of water bottles and force of will to get the work done. But now that the holidays are upon us, peppermint anything is always at my side. Especially white chocolate and peppermint covered pretzels. :D
     
  6. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    Pre-writing: Get into a friendly fistfight with a dragon with My Little Pony's theme in the background while doing Quantum Physics. No, not Skyrim.

    Writing: I need is Rick Astley, a chair, a table, and a laptop/notebook&pen.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I like being home for a long period of time. I'm a nervous person, mostly, and I can't really get into writing if I know I have to travel soon. I've been killing time for the past few days because tonight I have to go out of town, and that fact has ruined my writing equilibrium. So I want to be home, and know I'll be home for weeks. That's when I'm most comfortable. Unfortunately for me, I often have to travel for work, so I'm often screwed up in my writing.

    I also like quiet. Quiet, and the peace of the security of knowing I have nothing to do but write at home for a long time. And herbal tea, and some beer and whiskey as the day wears on.
     
  8. cobaltblue
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    cobaltblue Member

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    I used to write in a notebook in my car.. then I got a lap top and tried to take it to empty rooms in my house, but people would follow me.. so I started taking it out to coffee shops.. but now that the rooms in my house are empty more often I spend an hour getting things done, things that would otherwise nag at the back of my mind and then I take a glass of water or a cup of tea up to my desk and get going. I used to grab a snack too, but eating seems to distract me. I have toyed with the idea of music, but I think I'd end up sitting listening to the music and not writing. Once I'm on the trail of the next part of my story I don't want to be interrupted by anything, but it can take me a while and many little distractions to get there.
     
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  9. FoxPaw
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    FoxPaw Senior Member

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    It needs to be the night hours outside, maybe around eight o'clock at night or later. I usually listen to a certain type of music for the type of scene I want (sad scene = sad music; fighting scene = lots of fast-paced and loud beats, etc.). While I'm writing, I can't stop or have anyone else in the room so I can concentrate. Finally, no other distracting sounds can be present, like the TV.
     
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  10. Naiyn
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    Naiyn Contributing Member

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    I do my best writing early morning. I need soft instrumental music barely audible, a cup of coffee always at the ready, and no distractions. This is during the six days that are my work-week. On Sunday, it's "me" time. I've done some Sundays with a solid twelve hours of near non-stop writing. Usually sometime late afternoon I switch from coffee to ale, and the quality of writing for some reason deteriorates. I haven't quite put my finger on what causes that though. :D
     
  11. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I never plan.It just happens.
    Ihave no specifics. I could be doing anything when words start to surge so I go and start typing.
    I prefer it this way which means I am not fixated into a routine.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't ever have to 'get' there... it's a constant state for me... can do it anytime and anywhere, under just about any conditions...
     
  13. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't have music or otherpeople distracting me. Could never sit at a café with all the people running around, talking and maybe looking over my shoulder. (I always have the feeling the do, even when they don't) my best writing circumstances is at a little wobbly table in my kitchen, in a comfy chair and preferably at night (from, like 8pm and forth). I like planning and outlining at night too, right before I fall asleep. can stay awake for hours writing down ideas that pop up in my head :)
     
  14. Enerzeal
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    Enerzeal Member

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    Planning is a spot of classical music, a bath, a walk, 10 hours straight playing skyrim (that game is ideas gold).

    Writing is quiet, like someone else said if I slap music on it tends to infect the flow and I find some parts being rushed due to an up beat track playing. I do find crazy late at night to be a great time. Door shut, room all cosey and warm.
     
  15. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't need to be alone or have total silence, but people talking so I can actually hear what they say distracts me. If it's just buzzing in the background I'm fine. When inspired I don't really need any kind of conditions. I'll write at work, in class, in uncomfortable positions on the couch or in my bed. When I'm not, and especially when I'm editing, I need to be at my desk with my laptop, sitting straight up with my feet on the floor (believe it or not, I never sit like that otherwise). It usually takes me about fifteen minutes or so to get into the zone if I'm not already there when I start.

    I usually don't mind sounds around me, like the TV or music or people talking in the background, but if I'm PMSing (TMI anyone?), then I need COMPLETE silence.
     
  16. urban_rae
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    urban_rae Senior Member

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    LOL! Okay, it is probably TMI for guys, but I totally get what you are saying. My creativity flows with the monthly tide, so to speak. Depending on my mood, I may get in the zone creating new stories, or may be more inclined to zone out on editing.

    Either way, it is important to find that focus. The best thing I have done to get in the zone more consistently is having my own designated writing space. I have a desk with my laptop, notebooks, pens, books... Everyone in the house knows that this is my spot, if I am pounding at the keyboard, DON'T BUG ME! When I sit at my desk my brain goes into work mode, it is now a conditioned response due to the environment I set up. It really works for me :)
     
  17. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I started writing because I was very ill and confined to a recliner and bed for a long time so I think I have conditioned myself to write best while in my recliner. Life goes on around me as usual so there is sometimes TV in the background, lots of conversations and my teenage boys throw things at me from across the room to "bother" me from time to time. I was raised with six brothers so I guess I have learned to tune out quite a bit.
     
  18. Brayden Potter
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    Brayden Potter Member

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    Before I start writing I listen to music. Usually when somebody mentions that they listen to music to get into their writing zone, it's usually something soft and gentle, but I need loud music. Usually something like John Fogerty. But the music is only to 'get me in the mood' so to speek. Once I actually start to write I need complete silence. No music, no TV. Nothing. I don't even like being near a TV or my iPod or anything like that when I write, because I know if they're there I'll get distracted. I also seem to write better at night. There's something about the night time that gets me right into my writing zone. The creative serge I get is amazing. If I write during the day, I can usually go for an hour or two. Maybe three if I push myself. But times when I've started writing at 9 or 10 o'clock at night, I've found myself still going at 3 in the morning and I wasn't even wearing down. I usually have to make myself stop so I can get some sleep. Needless to say, when I wake up I'm cranky, red eyed and a complete zombie, but at least there are pages written.
     
  19. Devrokon
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    Devrokon Senior Member

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    I try to write at more than one time of day. For example, I write a little at morning, noon, night, and dawn. Splitting it up helps me to break down my ideas and refocus them in creative ways.

    Music helps but not more than pure and absolute silence.
     
  20. Dusk
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    Dusk Member

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    I sometimes get these random urges to start writing, really. Sadly I don't have a specific way I get into my zone, I just need to feel it when it comes to me. And it mostly hits me late at night. And during geography class :p
     
  21. Dusk
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    Dusk Member

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    And at Dusk? :p sorry had to...
     
  22. L a u r a
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    L a u r a Senior Member

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    Step One: Get motivated. I need to find something exciting to write about before I can write anything good. Throughout my day when I'm not writing, I think about my current project and plan out what I'm going to write...my stories are my constant fantasies. :) By the time I get my notepad and pen, I'm excited to get my fantasies on paper.

    Step Two: Get my blood moving. I can't sit still for very long, and writing...well. It's not like you can write while running or biking. So I usually go in thirty-minute increments, writing as much as I can in my given time limit. Then (unless I'm at a particularly exciting part and can't bear to stop), I put my pen down and do something else, like running, biking...or perhaps a chore or two if I can't find some other sort of procrastination. I make sure that I'm still interested in my project when I stop...that way, I can continue my "constant fantasy." I gotta say, that makes housework a bit more bearable.

    And where do I write? Anywhere and everywhere. Just like I can't sit still for long, I also can't stay in the same place for long...I get bored and lose inspiration.
     

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