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Tricks to stay on task?

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I've found that it takes me a while to get started again if I finish my writing session at the end of a chapter. I now have a rule that I must write at least the first line of the next chapter before I can quit for the day. That way my brain keeps thinking about what's next.   :writing3

Anyone else have tricks to keep the creative juices flowing?
#1 - March 11, 2008, 07:18 PM

SproutQ

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Start thinking about what you are going to write that day before you sit down.  I drive around, do bedtime (don't tell my son), do dishes, etc. but all the time I am saying the first lines of what I want to write in my head, getting into the voice, etc.
#2 - March 11, 2008, 07:31 PM

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I always burn a scented candle while I'm writing--you know, a Yankee Candle type, in a jar--and choose one scent to burn for every book.  After a few days my brain associates that scent with the story, so when I light the candle as I sit down at my desk, it gives me a little kick into that story.   :onfire

I also spend half an hour or so editing what I wrote the previous day, which gets me into things nicely.
And I avoid stopping for the day at the end of a scene or chapter if I can possibly help it. 
#3 - March 11, 2008, 07:37 PM
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I also go back and edit what I wrote the day before. :) Gets me right back into the story, every time.
#4 - March 11, 2008, 07:51 PM

ashlynn

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I used to be able to write the minute I sat down in front of the computer, but that changed once I started playing music on the computer. (Youtube was a dream-come true. hehe.) Once I find a certain song that sets the mood of the story, I tend to type every single chapter, bit-by-bit, while I listen to it, associating that particular song or group with the story. I find it very difficult to write when I try so very hard to think what to write; sort of like I can't concentrate if I push myself to concentrate. Well, anyway, music is my trick.
#5 - March 11, 2008, 08:03 PM

Ditto with the editing the last page or so of the work before.
#6 - March 11, 2008, 08:19 PM
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I usually take a non-sleeping nap.  I lay down and think about the character, start to see the character in the scenes, like a movie.
Then I just let go, watch and listen.
Sometimes, the character shows me something I don't want to write, but it always is an important part of the story.
Betsy
#7 - March 12, 2008, 05:20 AM

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Marissa, I love the candle idea. I think I'll try it. I also go back and edit a bit in order to get into the story.

Danette  :D
#8 - March 12, 2008, 05:41 AM
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I end my writing session with a sentence or two about what I think is going to happen next...
#9 - March 12, 2008, 07:21 AM
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Start thinking about what you are going to write that day before you sit down.  I drive around, do bedtime (don't tell my son), do dishes, etc. but all the time I am saying the first lines of what I want to write in my head, getting into the voice, etc.

SproutQ, that's what I do. I play out a scene in my head to the point where I can't keep myself from the keyboard any longer.
Jean
#10 - March 12, 2008, 08:04 AM
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Wow, Marissa!  I was going to suggest a scented candle because it somehow works for me.  I never considered the actual psychology of smell and story until you pointed it out.  It makes sense (pun fully intended), though.  Really, who doesn't think of Christmas when they smell pine?!

My current WIP is green apple, so the next time I eat a Jolly Rancher, I guess I'll think of 16th Century Vienna...
#11 - March 12, 2008, 09:07 AM
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 04:49 PM by carrots »

Borboleta

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I am definitely going to treat myself to a candle! Thanks for the idea, Marissa!

Back in the bad ol' days before I quit smoking (2000), I always associated smoking and writing.  This ritual is MUCH better!! :thanks
#12 - March 14, 2008, 12:55 PM

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I like to burn a candle too, but I never thought about burning a particular scent for a given story. I like that idea!
#13 - March 14, 2008, 01:18 PM

AnneWritesYA

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I've never tried a candle...but will!

Does anyone listen to their playlist before writing? That's how I warm up..
#14 - March 14, 2008, 01:29 PM

Love the candle idea too!

My is: rotate the places where you write. I read once that it keeps your brain fresher and more creative. So I take my laptop to my desk, to the couch, to a chair, outside. I have some favorite places that I rotate through. It works. Try it!  :typing

And of course there is the coffee and chocolate when you need to pull out the big bribery guns!  :chocolate1
#15 - March 14, 2008, 07:37 PM
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Once school is out for the summer I turn into a super night owl. My favorite time and place to write is outside at night on the back deck. I head out with my laptop once it's dark and light a citronella candle around 10pm. Sometimes I write until 2 or 3 in the morning. Ah...dreamin' of warm weather...
#16 - March 14, 2008, 08:32 PM

ecb

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I've just started this, but I'm liking it so much I think I'll make it tradition:

I read a little bit of what I'm working on before I hop into the shower, and let the steam percolate the ideas.  Then I get right to work when I get out.

My main motivation was to purge myself of work thoughts that were not writing-related (I need to email the B&N CRM, I have to check the group blog... did I send out enough postcards?  etc), because those will totally derail me for the day.
#17 - March 16, 2008, 02:30 PM

aclaire1980

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I love these suggestions. I'm going to try the candle idea tonight. Something I have started doing is writing at least 500 words per day. This helps me find the time to write even on busy days when I don't feel as inspired. Also, it helps me get over writer's block. Once I get passed the first 500 words I usually can write a lot more. Some days are easier than others.
#18 - March 27, 2008, 11:55 AM

m.pritchett

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So I'm with everyone else and I'm lovin this candle idea :)
#19 - March 27, 2008, 02:59 PM

aclaire1980

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There was an author interview on NPR yesterday. Unfortunately, I missed it so I do not know who the author was. I heard about it from someone else. However, apparently this author said that every year she starts a book on January 8, even if she has no idea what she is going to write. I thought that was an interesting strategy to stay on task.
#20 - April 08, 2008, 12:27 PM

I have a mindless repetitive factory job that they could train a monkey to do.  In order to keep from going postal  :guns , I disconnect my brain from the stupidity of my surroundings and just think about my stories for eight hours.  When I finally get back to the keyboard I usually have a good idea of where I want it to go--and my boss and knucklehead coworkers are allowed to live another day.  :tease
#21 - April 08, 2008, 11:06 PM
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