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I’m sure any writer has their own creative methods and routines when it comes to writing. I’ve been wanting to post my way of getting organized and inspired to write for later reference, since my ‘methods’ change all the time. Hopefully, this might bring some ideas to someone and maybe others could share their own writing routines to help a fellow writer out!
Here is my ultimate ‘Get Shit Done’-List:
- Microsoft One Note has helped me in many ways. I create a notebook for every project that I’m working on, with each section for a different thinking-path like: inspiration, drafts, ideas, background stories, inspiration boards for each main character or important character, playlists, pictures that show the ‘vibe’ or ‘mood’ of the book. etc. One Note is really easy to use and you can create amazing collages, which help me a lot to organize my ideas. I downloaded One Note for free on a torrent website.
- My characters are usually complete in my head with their flaws, qualities, desires, and so on, but it helps a lot to actually write it all down. It’s amazing how our brain organizes every little bit of information far better once you put your thoughts on a piece of paper. This may seem very obvious to most writers, but it wasn’t to me! I was always so sure to know my characters inside and out, that I didn’t even bother to write everything about them down. Bad decision. I wasted a lot of time and could have been already finishing my book if I’d realized that earlier. My way of ‘organizing’ my character’s personality varies from each character; on some I write just a plain text, while on others I write an elaborate text in their point-of-view, and with some others I prefer to put together a chart of their personality. Recently I came across this character chart, which is very complete though full of points that I personally wouldn’t waste my time on. These charts are best used for side characters in my opinion.
- Music plays a big part in many writers writing process. Creating a playlist for your characters is not only fun, it’s also a way of getting to explore their motivations and feelings better. Rainbow Rowell, the author of Eleanor & Park, posted her character’s playlist on her blog and describes her ‘inspiration’ behind every song. I use Grooveshark to create my playlists, because they have almost every song I ever looked up.
- I collect quotes from all kinds of authors and books that connect to my story or to any character. Quotes inspire me so very much. Whenever I read a very nice quote I get a rush of excitement and just want to write.
- I don’t worry about anything else than writing. Getting published, pleasing the readers, getting praise or being successful - that’s something no one should focus on while writing. I love the quote by Peter S. Beagle: “You write because you have to - you write because you can’t not write. The rest is show-business.”
- I downloaded the Evernote to my phone, which is an amazing app that helps you to stay organized. Whenever I’m on the go and remember something or get an idea or whatever - I quickly write it in a list or even just record my idea. Evernote stores it all in notebooks - similar to One Note. And you can even download Evernote to your computer and synchronize your notebooks from your phone to your PC/Mac. It’s like the best app ever invented and the best part is that it’s free!
- And last but not least, I like to spend as much time observing everything, being outside, listening to others, allowing the stories inside of me to come free by just being alive. What we want as writers is to try and convey feeling to the world. And in order to do that in a artistic way, we need to live first and experience things before we can write about life.
Hopefully someone else shares some of their writing processes!