A few weeks ago I officially disconnected my internet service. There were a number of reasons that went into that decision, but the chief among them was that I was spending extremely too much time playing video games, binging on YouTube and Netflix, and endlessly scrolling through the Facebook timelines. Self exiling myself from the world wide web has been tremendously beneficial in terms of spending my precious time doing other things like exercising, reading, maintenance and upkeep of the house, and writing. The amount of time I’ve spent writing over the last few weeks has jumped significantly.
There’s an author by the name of Joseph Bates that wrote a book on writing called “The Nighttime Novelist: Finish Your Novel in Your Spare Time.” The book provides short explanations of topics including developing initial ideas, character connecting, plot planning, and other topics. There’s a section of the book towards the end that Bates gives practical tips for the nighttime novelist. Here are my favorite five from that list.
1. Have some mindless activity – Sometimes writers get caught up in their stories. Sometimes they hit a point in the narrative where they’ve written themselves into a corner. Sometimes they just need a break due to cramping wrists. When this happens to me I have two things that I have on my desk to clear my mind. The first is a deck of cards so that I can play Solitaire. The second is my Nintendo Switch. I know, I know. Above I stated that I was playing too many video games. The Switch has several mind numbing games, but none of them are time consuming. The first Super Mario Brothers and Enter the Gungeon are just a few examples.
2. Keep music you can write to – It seems that I’ve developed an inability to get into a really good writing session without the aid of music. When I’m in public, it’s almost mandatory. I get so distracted easily with people talking around me. It’s easy to drown out their discussion with the use of really loud music. And I’ve got odd musical preferences. Examples of my playlist include Weird Al, Johnny Cash, Twenty-One Pilots, and some Eminem. It’s all over the place.
3. Take care of yourself – You can’t write if you’re dead. That is unless you know something I don’t know about. I shouldn’t really have to explain this one. You’re a writer and you mostly sit. The potential for laziness and blood clots are high so get up and move around.
4. Set goals and meet them – It could be writing one word a day, it could be 1,000 words a day. The point is to make sure that you set a goal and reach it.
5. Enjoy your work – You should always be doing something that you love. Why do something you hate every day? That’s also something that could be used in your everyday life. Find something you like to do and do it.
There are many other ones that are of interest and you can find them on Amazon if you’re interested. It’s a very intriguing read if you’re an aspiring author or even an experienced author.
Categories: Mastering the Craft