Sunday, 23 March 2014

How do you kick-start your writing process?

Keep writing ..keep writing ..keep writing. Photo by Maire Rua
Sometimes I just sit and think and sometimes I just sit …

As a student many years ago, long before Internet and social media, I used to write a lot.  Writing included essays, course work, exams and the occasional letter home requesting a cash advance to see me through the academic term. I recall a wonderful poetic reply from my father waxing lyrically about how almost every cheque stub in his chequebook had my name inscribed next to it!  Today’s parents and students will no doubt applaud the speed and efficiency of smart cards.

Although communication methods were different back then, there were benefits too.  These included taking time to write letters, formal and informal.  Penmanship, the use of grammar and spelling were encouraged.  There was enough time to construct proper sentences and give some original thought to creative writing.  For me, the process of writing provided time for reflection too.  As a student that included editing letters ensuring my parents learned that I had a fair balance of academic work and play. I believed it was important for their financial support to be invested wisely!

 Today, I continue to write however; my biggest challenge is … getting started.  Once I start writing it’s fine, usually I can write for ages.  I find it easier to write in pen and ink and then proceed to word processing.  For me there is something about the movement of the pen or pencil that allows my thinking to flow alongside my writing.  I’m interested to know what is it that helps you kick start your writing process?  My latest idea is to use the timer on my mobile phone.  I set it for 10 mins and write.  Some of you may recognise this as ‘tumble writing’.  It’s great fun and helps to get over the procrastination hurdle.  Just write - no agenda, no structure and no judgment.  It’s very liberating just to write whatever comes and in my experience it’s quite surprising what comes from tumble writing.  If you are struggling this week to write something for business or pleasure, kick-start your writing process by setting a timer for 10 minutes and writing whatever comes.  You will find that by the end of the process, you will have generated a source for ideas for future articles or blog posts.

Sometimes I just sit and think and sometimes I just … set my timer for 10 minutes and write!