Writing should be fun. Here are five popular ways to make it more so:
- At the beginning of your writing session – write for ten minutes without stopping (set a timer) about anything you like. You could write about life, pizza, Spanish guitars, economic growth, parenting, special interest groups, planetariums, junkie mothers, spines – absolutely anything that pops into your head as you write. The point is just to get the words flowing and, in the process, get over your fear of that blank page. Then, when the timer goes off, start writing about what you sat down to write about. After you’ve done writing, take your ten minutes of free flow and either save it elsewhere or bin it – your decision.
- As you write – move outside of yourself. There are many reasons for writing: some do it for money, others for fame, some do it to give themselves pleasure, others for therapy. Writing only really comes into its own when you focus outside of yourself on what you can give to others instead of what you can do for yourself. One movie that illustrates this principle is Groundhog Day. The main guy is forced to repeat the same day over and over again until … well, I’ll not spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it. But the point is – life’s better if you give something of yourself to others, so why not do this with your writing?
- Know that you are a god as you write. That’s right – you’re the creator of all that you survey. If you want to bestow riches on your characters – do it. If you want your character to have a deeply satisfying love affair – do it. If you want to rewrite the laws of nature and the universe – do it. If you want to win the lottery when it comes to having fun with your writing, there is no better way to do it than to realise that you, in your self-contained universe, can do absolutely anything that you want. Satisfy your heart’s desires on paper and you will know the true meaning of fun.
- Have a go at mindful writing. Mindfulness is “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis”, in other words – just be you being you. When you write in a mindful state you will find that you have, at your fingertips, a massive suite of experiences, sensations, thoughts and feeling, any and all of which can be thrown onto the fire of your creativity to make it blaze beautifully. And if that doesn’t work – you can still make use of your dinosaur (sorry – Thesaurus), to find different and exciting words to use.
- Try using Dictation Software. Not everyone’s brain works the same way. Some people can have fun with pencils and pens, other people prefer using typewriters and still others (like me) want to type directly into a computer. But these are not the only ways of writing. It is said that since mere typewriters could never keep up with Barbara Cartland’s prolific output (one novel per fortnight) she avoided them and instead dictated her fiction to “awestruck assistants who wrote furiously”. You do not need to pay an assistant to keep pace with Ms Cartland – you can use computer software instead. The very sentence was dictated using the software built into my MacBook Pro–and it was a lot easier to do this than it was to type it. Unfortunately, I’ve not had much practice with this method and so correcting my mistakes took blooming ages. Still – horses for courses.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you how you spend your leisure time, so whatever you do, and in whatever way you choose to do it – just relax and enjoy yourself.