There is a lovely moment in the Keira Knightly/ Mark Ruffalo movie “Begin Again” where Keira, heart-broken and terribly drunk is struck by a great lyric for a new song. Her lovelt flatmate hands her pen and paer and tells her to ‘get in the zone’. She says “I am in the zone” in her perfectly clipped English accent and is admonished. “You sound like a posh schoolgirl”. Keira bounces back with a great impression of a Noo Yoike Cabbie. “Arm in tha zowen!”.
So today I am offering five fab ways to get IN THA ZOWEN as a writer:
Five fabulous ways to get in the writing zone:
1: Revisit your outline
If you haven’t gone crazy nuts and thrown yourself into a month long pantsting challenge then you are probably using either a detailed plot outline or some story beats to get you through your story from one bank to t’other. If you want t6o get in the Writing Zone, revisiting your plan and getting excited about how far you have come and how close you are to that great, great scene that has been playing out in your head for days is a good way to motivate you to put your bottom in the chair and start writing.
2. Gaze upon your novel vision board
I talked in a former post about how much I am loving Vision Boards for novels. Though I have sworn off planning for this month, I was happy to bend my own rules and create a vision board for the novel on Day two of the month. Having a good visual stimulus can really ignite your creative right brain and nudge the story to present itself.
3. Create a writing soundtrack
I am a big 8Tracks.com fan (user julsnolan if you want to see what I am listening to) There are some wonderful playlists over there. Some are designed for study and writing, some are created to correspond to a novel that is already published. Finding some great tunes that really correlate with the mood and feel of your writing is a lovely add-on to your writing experience. Listening to those tracks outside of your writing time can also be a great way to keep in contact with that imaginative thread that you are creating.
I find that starting my writing session with a few minutes journaling can be a great method for clearing the mind and dumping any annoying thoughts and issues that could be hanging around. Get it out. Get it down on paper. Then you are clear to let your story fill the gaps left behind by your emotional residue. It works – believe me!
Yes I mean meditate. Spend just one minute breathing deeply and nothing else. Visualise yourself writing and the words flowing from your fingers. Imagine yourself turning the pages that you and only you have created.
The Zone is simply a mental place from which creativity and devotion can spring. It is only a breath away, my friend. Only a breath away.
How do you get in the writing zone? Leave a comment with your tips and hints below.