I was having an extended Twitter session last night when one of my followers asked what I do to get focused. This got me thinking about what I do to get prepared to write. My rock-solid answer is… It depends. Sometimes I’ve got a clear vision of an inspired writing session and I just sit down and do it. Other times it takes a lot more work for me to get ready to write. Here are some of the things I do to prepare for a writing session. I don’t do all of them all of the time, and sometimes I partially complete some of these preparatory items.
Preparing to write:
- Clean up computer clutter. I can’t concentrate if I know there are emails to respond to and sites I need to investigate. I go through my email inbox and take care of anything that may nag the back of me head whilst trying to write a competent article. If there is a site I’ve been wanting to visit, I go and get that done. This requires a lot of discipline to ensure this site visit doesn’t turn into a surfing session. Once I’ve taken care of these things, I close out of my email and browser unless the writing I’m doing is within the confines of a blog dashboard. Side note – whenever possible, do your blog post writing in a word processor. There is less likelihood of a crash that eats your hard work.
- Clean up – It’s hard for me to focus when the place is trashed. This means that before I can sit down for a big ol’ writing session, I spend a little quality time in the kitchen and de-clutter my writing area. I’m not talking passing a white glove test here, I just need to have some semblance of organized neatness. Stuff laying around is a distraction for me. It is the reason I can’t hang with a flotilla of yellow sticky notes framing my monitor.
- Refreshment – Sometimes a pot of coffee or a cuppa is in order. Depends on the anticipated length of the writing session and the time of day.
- Sound – Can’t do the noise thing – way too distracting. Silence is the preference but I’ve been known to listen to classical on the radio. No TV or songs that I can sing to in the background.
- Meditate – Not always, but if I find I can’t calm my mind down and focus on the task, a little twenty minute meditation session puts me where I need to be. Try it sometime, you’ll be amazed.
These are some of the things I do to prepare for writing. Like I said, sometimes I do all of them and sometimes I don’t do any of them. How about you? What do you do to prepare yourself for a writing session?