I’ve been writing for years now and I have plenty of advice to share. Feel free to ask me questions. Maybe I’ll answer them with a blog!
6 Ways to Help You Focus on Your Writing
I’m sure many of you reading this know how easy it is to lose focus. Sometimes, while working on a project, a random thought will appear, such as, “Wait, when did Mozart die?” Suddenly, you’re googling it, reading Wikipedia, reading about Mozart’s entire family, how did you get on Twitter?
I get it. I’ve done it multiple times myself
and still do. Sometimes losing focus is nice because it lets you work on things you put off for far too long (anybody else clean their room to procrastinate?). However, there will be times when enough is enough and you absolutely have to focus on what you’re working on. And I think I might have some tips that help.
Dwarf Fortress as a Writing Tool
You shouldn’t wait for inspiration. Sometimes, you have to force it to come. And sometimes, you have to go out and search for it. I made one post about my top five generators in this post, but there is one major generator that didn’t make the list. Mostly because it’s not just a generator, but also a video game (two great things rolled into one!).
Alright, here’s a tip my mom gave me once. Let me know if this sounds familiar. You’re in school and your teacher wants you to write a paper. You’re expected to find your own sources, but they give you this one tip: “Don’t use Wikipedia.”
Well, I’m here to call bull.
If you’re a writer, you’ve probably heard the tip to read your writing out loud when editing and revising. Reading it out loud can help you hear if there are any mistakes you missed or if something just doesn’t flow right. However, there may be times when you’re not able to read your writing out loud. Maybe people are sleeping. Or maybe you’re socially awkward and there are too many people around for you to be comfortable. Maybe you’re non-verbal. Or, hey, maybe you have a roommate who has a severe migraine and the slightest sound sends them a wave of agony and pain.
It could happen.
Whatever the reason, there are times when you might need an alternative to reading out loud. Well, lucky for you, I have some!
Welp, school’s starting back up soon, which means that I’m going to have a wave of busy coming my way. One thing that makes me nervous is the fact that one of my classes is a “writing intensive” course, which sounds to me like more writing papers and less writing the other stuff. Not this time, though! I refuse to put my writing on the back end this semester. I thought of some tricks I could try to make sure I’m fitting in writing time. And since I’m sure you guys are busy too, with school, work, life itself, I figured you could use these tricks as well!
Writing different habits and mannerisms are always hard to think of and even harder to remember. I made a list of some speaking quirks in my bullet journal and decided to copy it on here for others to use. After typing it out, however, I realized that what I originally wrote might not make sense to most people, so I added some explanations. Hope it helps!
Let’s be honest; timing is everything. There’s a good time to go to bed, a good time to wake up, a good time to hide from the world in the bathroom for thirty minutes. And, of course, there’s a good writing time. But what is that time? Well, you’re probably not going to like the answer.
Everybody is different, meaning they’re bound to have different schedules. The best time for one person to write might not work for another person. Sure, science might say you’re more creative after waking up, but do you actually have time (or even want) to write in the morning? If so, great! If not, that’s also great! There are other options; you just need to figure out what works best for you. Yeah, I know. That’s the hard part. But don’t worry! I have some tips that can help.
One thing that has definitely helped my writing over the years is writing generators. I hear all the time to never wait for inspiration to write, but that’s often easier said than done. Writing generators help me get inspiration faster to get more writing finished. Or, maybe there’s one important detail that I need for my story (you know, like a character name), but my brain refuses to come up with it. Writing generators are there to help.
When I think of childhood games, the Sims series is one of the first to come to mind. I’ve been a fan of the series since I was at least five years old (though I feel like I’ve been playing it for longer). I enjoyed keeping families alive as best I could and sharing the stories I had from the game with my own family. It almost seems ridiculous that I’ve only recently started thinking of using Sims as a writing tool.
It wasn’t until I was about seventeen or eighteen years old that I realized that I could recreate my story characters in Sims. At first, it was more about me having some fun rather than trying to use a game as a writing tool. However, as I recreated the characters and watched them live their lives in a game, I found that I was taking some aspects that happened in Sims and incorporating it into the official story.
When in the writing community, there’s some common advice that every writer sees a million times:
“Show, don’t tell.”
“Said is dead.” Or, alternatively, “Said is not dead.”
And, of course, “Write every day!”
Really, you can take all of this advice with a grain of salt, but let’s focus on the write every day one.
…Do you really need to?