In his book, On Writing, Stephen King speaks about muses. He talks about making your writing space conducive to writing. As rudimentary as that sounds, it’s true! One of the things that make writing easy is when you have an area dedicated to writing. An area that is set up and set aside for writing. I understand that this is not totally possible in certain spaces and times, but hear me out.
When you set aside space to write, your thinking shifts! It allows you to concentrate, and focus your attention on what you want to create. The space grants you access to that creative space (The Flow) and writing–because that portion of your mind is receptive, makes writing easier (Accessing).
This place can literally be a notebook that you have in a specific place. It can be an alarm on you phone to remind you to write (more about writing schedules next month), a desk in your house or an office. As you set aside the space to write, be aware of things that make writing easy for you.
Do you write to music?
Do you need complete quiet or noise in the background?
Do you need a snack to write?
Should the room be hot or cold? Do you need to be hot or cold?
All these things should be taken into account when you set up a writing space, or writing time?
The success of your writing, the maximizing of your time is the focus when you set of this space. The Flow is not a nebulous thing–it is a force! Since it is a force, it can be commanded or ignored. Make no mistake, The Flow is a great power source–and if you cannot remember this, you will never tap into it with the confidence you require.
Writing is equal parts talent and energy. The more you understand what you need as an artist in order to create, the better you will get at writing.
What I want you to remember is that you have all within you, to do all that you decide! There are no limits to your imagination–but you have to but something forth from your own talent–meaning, you have to believe in yourself first before you ever put it on paper.
Rod Serling (the creator of The Twilight Zone) said that writing is incessant, and demanding–and he succumbed to it. This is the best way to describe this entity, this power, this source knows as The Flow.
It is this need to create that is indescribable–this feeling that you as a creative person to pull out what is in your head, and put it on paper. Or on canvas. Or film. It is the feeling (it definitely starts as this), this unction that is pushing you to create, forcing you to create. I feels like all creative channels are open and anything that can be created, will be. The great thing about The Flow is once you have experienced it, you will never be confused as to what it is!
Think of it as a teapot. Your talent is what fills it. Time and effort heat the water, and when it whistles? That is your queue to create. That is your signal that you are sitting on something amazing, that you have the amazing on the inside of you–and you should believe enough in yourself to do access it, in order to bring to life what is already living on the inside of you.
The one thing I want to you remind you of is to have faith in yourself. Have faith in your work. Have faith in what you want to create! Do not be so quick to compare yourself to other writers! You may never write if you do. Faith comes by believing in yourself. One word at a time.
There are few tools and resources in writing that are so under-utilized as accountability. When combating self-rejection, you need people around you that are able to tell you you are capable of doing. The role of accountability is two-fold.
Support. Writing is hard, and can sometimes feel like you are doing all of this by yourself. Writing, making worlds of nothing, is hard! It truly is. With that said, never take lightly how crucial this is to have people whom do the same things you, encourage you! Encouragement as a writer means there is someone (or a group of people) that know your struggles, familiar with your passion, and can remind you to keep going. This is essential.
Responsibility. If you say you are a writer, you need to write! Your responsibility is to write. Simply stated, if you are working on something –and people around you know about it–the expectation is that you finish it. Accountability assures the writer that someone is anticipating what they will create. Respect your imagination enough to see a thought or an idea through!
I want to see all of you win, and write down all the things your imagination tell you. I want you to know you will have moments of abject fear when you put pen to paper–but commit to what you want to do! Embrace what you want to create what you want…and make the rest up. After all, you’re a writer! You can do that.