It is not as good as Batman’s belt, but it’s pretty darn close. I know a lot of writers who have similar tools. And if you write and want to adopt some of mine that I’ve been using for years, that’s fine.
Tool Number 1: Listening to Music
I’m just going to say it. I’m a music hoarder. Almost worse than I hoard books, I hoard music. I can’t help it though. I grew up in a family that held media in high regard. When I write, I like to listen to the playlists that I made specifically for the projects I’m working on. When I’m not writing and just brainstorming, it’s good to listen to music to get me in the mood.
For Ean Danger, I tried to select music that was kind of dark with a beat. Moody, but can kick your ass. Sad, but also gangster. Which, not surprisingly I guess, covers a wide selection of what music artists want to convey. Really, it’s a four and a half hour long mixture of 80’s music and The Weekend.
Tool Number 2: Journalling
Journalling also helps. I’m bad at this one because journalling is boring compared to writing a story. But you can think of it as an exercise. You wouldn’t sprint right through a race if you hadn’t stretched beforehand. Think of your poor hamstrings… I mean brain. Also, when you feel like finally writing that autobiography of yours that everyone definitely wants to read, you have a pure primary source to pull from along with dates.
Tool Number 3: Drawing It Out
I love to draw. If I weren’t a hopeless writer I’d be a starving artist. Sometimes it’s fun to just draw what I’m writing. Especially when I get the all dreaded writer’s block. It can help to better paint a scene or establish characters as their own people. It really helps when writing fiction.
Tool Number 4: Humor
Make yourself laugh and never take yourself too seriously. I think this is true in any instance no matter who you are. Writing comes with plenty of disappointment and rejection and sometimes you just need a sense of humor about it. I always try to add some element of humor in my writing no matter what the topic is. Sometimes thinking up silly situations for your project can help get you in a more motivated spirit. It’s like cracking a joke with your coworkers. Only, in this scenario, all your coworkers are imaginary and you know everything about them. Unless of course, you’re writing non-fiction.
Tool Number 5: Limit Distractions
If you’re like me, you sit at your desk and immediately feel the need to do other things. Get rid of all distractions! Easily distracted by shiny new websites? GET OUT of there. Disconnect your internet if you have to. See a pretty book you’ve been wanting to read? HIDE IT under your bedsheets so you forget about it. Then, you have a nice surprise when you climb into bed. Try to reduce clutter as much as possible which can be difficult when you’ve got a lot of notes. I guess the real goal is to stay organized in your workspace so you can stay focused in your brain if that makes sense.
(One lava lamp allowed per desk by the way.)
Tool Number 6: Dictionary
And that’s a dictionary, not a thesaurus. Dictionaries can help with spelling things out, clearing up definitions… it’s a dictionary. If you need me to define it, look it up. If you find yourself using a thesaurus, ask yourself, why am I like this? I’m just kidding. A thesaurus is good when you’re using a lot of the same words in a sentence, but don’t want to look like a dope so you try to branch out. The problem with leaning on a thesaurus too hard is that it can make your writing sound scatterbrained and foolhardy. Tread lightly, my friend.
Honestly, writing isn’t usually that difficult. It’s mostly just trying to power through as much as you can with the time you have. The hard part is the after part. That is if you want to get it out there in the world and not stuck in your desk.