Well…of course you’ve got to think to write, but that’s not exactly what I mean here. It’s Wednesday- Writer’s Wednesday here at the Pink Heart Society Blog. Today is a time for sharing advice, tips, etc. with our fellow writers on what works in this wonderfully mad game we call the writing life. Today, I decided to share what has for me, become a writing habit that actually doesn’t require any writing at all. I honestly believe this habit of mine is one most writers have, but perhaps many of us don’t stop to think about how we might utilize it more effectively.
I used to apply this ‘technique’ at the beginning stages of my writing process. Before starting any new titles, I spent weeks-quite a few months at times- just thinking about the project ahead. Specifically, I spent this time conjuring my characters for the upcoming story. Who are they? What is their mindset? What’s their name? How’d they get such a name? What do they look like? What are their secrets? People often ask if my stories are character or plot driven. For me, those aspects go hand in hand, but I always say ‘character driven’. If characters don’t draw me in then it’s very difficult for me to continue the story no matter how dynamic the plot might be.
So, as I said, I used to apply this technique at the beginning stages of a project. Lately, I’ve started to rely on this habit even more. That could be because I’m now up before dawn regularly as my son’s bus arrives before 6:30am in the morning. Once he’s had breakfast and I’m convinced that he’s actually getting ready and not wasting time, I head downstairs to enjoy a hot cup of my Awake tea and enjoy the view from my living room windows. I keep the lights off and just enjoy the glow from the neighborhood lampposts. It’s a nice, quiet time with only the occasional vehicle or morning jogger moving past.
Sitting there with my tea and the atmosphere, inspires the best thoughts. Of course, I devote time to plotting out the day ahead, but the real purpose is to spend time with my story and characters. Because I’m up every morning around 5am and in my living room with my tea no later than 5:45, this thinking time has become a ritual. Even on the weekends or when my son has a day off from school,
I’m up using that time to choreograph a new scene or review the scenes for the chapters I intend to complete that day.
I find this to be an inspiring time that really wakes up my creativity. I encourage you to try it even if it’s only a couple of days a week. I’m sure that once you’re in front of your computer or; if you’re like me, have your pen in hand, you may find that your work is singing a little more brightly than usual.