What are you looking for? A glimpse of evidence that there are other writers out there, and that you’re not the only weirdo? Like members of a secret society, we’ll be able to recognise each other by our writer’s bumps (or the ganglion cysts rising from our wrists, waiting to be popped with hardback books – hopefully written by us – one day). You long to be appreciated for what’s inside your head, not just the casing.
Well, the secret is: you’ve already ‘made it’. The fact you’re willing to separate yourself from the real world and create one of your own proves you were born for this. Most people can’t function for more than two minutes on their own. Now it’s up to you to figure out what inspires you to perform the hardest part of being a writer: writing.
In order to trick the reader you need to trick yourself. Your head needs to be in the clouds, but the opposite of drunk. Your mind needs to be a blank canvas, ready to receive those strange and wonderful ideas that come creeping in from your subconscious – be careful not to scare them. Your wits need to be sharp enough to manipulate the written word while holding several ideas at once, weaving them together and against each other. How can you do all this without letting your everyday worries come flooding in, the moment you give yourself time to think? You need to find out what gets you into the zone.
If you’re like me, you like finding out how other writers write. How do they get into the zone? Film scores, film trailers, pictures of mountains stuck on the wall, snacks that can be eaten with spoons whilst typing, playlists of favourite songs that motivate but are too familiar to be distracting. And above all, loneliness. I need to be alone in my room to get into the zone, rather than a coffee shop. Some writers need the buzz of people around them to keep them writing, reminding them there’s a world out there waiting for entertainment. I just take a sneaky peak at the news.
We all have our own methods, and that’s the thrill of it. We’re competitive creatures, but that doesn’t mean we can’t motivate each other. Sometimes we feel like we need permission to write, and feel guilty for shutting out our friends and family. The truth is, we’re doing them a service. Books don’t write themselves. You’re recycling the world of ideas, observing everyday events and churning them back out as something new. There may be millions of us out there, but your voice is unique. Readers and writers alike, we all want to see what’s inside each other’s heads.
Dawn Marshallsay’s first novel Gluttony (The Spider Mushroom Quest, Book One) is available from Amazon’s Kindle Store, and can be downloaded onto e-readers, computers and smartphones using Amazon’s FREE Kindle Reading App.
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