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Saturday, March 02, 2013

Thinking Outside Of The Box: A Writer’s Point of view

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For many people, writing is no easy task. It’s a labor of love, pure and simple. How many people put off writing tasks, even the simplest of things, until they feel trapped by a deadline, overwhelmed by the project before them, and cornered by their own fear of putting pen to paper, or fingertip to keyboard as it is these days.

People will put off writing essays, work reports, letters, and even that great American Novel they have trapped inside for fear that they might fail, or that they don’t know how to write. For that reason, many people hate writing, even though writing can be therapeutic and cathartic, can help you shed past demons and cleanse your soul of bad memories.

Writing isn’t the enemy, in fact, writing can be your best and most intimate friend, so long as you embrace it and stop fearing it. Writing isn’t work, it’s fun, if you’re doing it correctly it will help you escape the rigors of daily life. It gives you the opportunity to crawl into your mind and explore a world of your own choosing and making. It is the one exercise that offers you a haven in your own mind.

So why do so many people fear writing? Why do they dread writing a simple two page paper in English class about what they did over the summer? Did they hate summer vacation that much? No. They equate writing with hard work, and they are taught to fear it because it takes effort, but once you develop some discipline and ACTUALLY write on a regular basis, you’ll see that writing isn’t work at all, it’s an enjoyable labor of love.

Here are a few things to try to help you think outside of the box, so you can get used to writing, and so you can develop a routine that will help you enjoy one of the greatest exercises in the world:

Exercise That Brain: If you want a better body, you go to the gym. If you want a better brain, get to the typewriter or the computer and get to work. Set aside a regular time like you would for a workout. Try one hour at a time, three times a week to start. How hard can three measly hours be? But just like going to the gym, you have to push your mind to get better. You don’t do the same amount of push ups each week, you increase reps to improve your physique. It works the same way with writing. Start off insisting that you write two pages in each 1 hour session. Then increase your output to three pages per hour. Then add an extra hour a week or increase the time in your three writing sessions. Before you know it, you won’t be worried about how many pages you wrote or how long you spent writing, you’ll be writing all the time.

In Your Mind While You’re Doing Other Things: Writing is more than just tap-tap-tapping letters on a keyboard. You have to organize thoughts, form a structure for your article, story or thesis, and then for a conclusion. You can do this any time, not just when you’re at the keyboard. So when you’re doing boring, monotonous chores or killing time, work on your project in your head. The more you think about your project, the easier it will be to complete when you set down to write it.

Set The Mood: Writing shouldn’t be like going to the dentist, it should be enjoyable, so set the mood for it. I like using scented candles and mood music. Some people like television on in the background. Some people listen to recordings of stand-up comics while they write. Whatever works, whatever relaxes you, and whatever you like, utilize that to set the mood while you write so you are completely relaxed.

So there you go. Try these tips with your next writing project and think outside the box. You’ll be amazed with the results you get, once you teach yourself that writing is a joy, not a task. Before you know it, you’ll be an expert writer, and you’ll have a new passion to enjoy any time you feel like it.

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