5 Weird Things About Writing That Actually Work
by KAMAL SUCHARAN BURRI
Being a filmmaker and writer, I’ve discovered some ridiculous but enlightening tips that increase the potential of a writer. I was totally astonished by the fact that they worked for me.
1. Use a notepad for drafting, rather than a notebook
I’ve just noticed this a few days back. I have the habit of writing scripts in notebooks and sometimes in separate pages. One day I went to the bookshop and accidentally purchased the “NOTEPAD”, the one where you flip off pages vertically. I started writing on it; to my bewilderment the writing flow of mine was awesome. It might be due to fewer distractions from the previous page as I obviously flip off to the new page every time. I don’t know why, but trust me, it works.
2. Never worry about editing, just go with the flow first
My writing professor used to say, “Never edit in your mind”. I’ve been following the rule ever since. Of course your first draft is crappy but editing while you write makes you miss some jewels that might add up to the glory of the finished copy. Writing is a miracle; don’t demean it to the level of magic by editing the elements that could have turned a mere phrase into an eloquent work of art.
3. Cater to yourself with specific music that relates to the mood of your intended writing
Music always taps an unconscious side of you and it has the profound ability to transform your senses if you let it. So while writing, try to relate the music to the context/genre/mood/plot of intended writing, which of course, is not always the mood you’re in. You have to discover your own taste for music only by trial and error, yet the result is worthy enough. Note: Make sure the music is without words/lyrics that might distract you. Listen to plain melody that suits your scene. If you are comfortable with it, just go ahead.
4. Never ever promise yourself to write
This seems to be ridiculous but if you promise yourself to write in a deadline, the pressure actually builds that might hamper your true potential. Rather commit to write everyday as a habit. You can’t inspire your unconscious persona by your conscious deadline pressures. Let your writing flow to eternity, devoid of all restrictions, deadlines, and pressures.
5. Write in minimal clothes
I mean write in your most comfortable clothes. Obviously you can’t write in a suit. To be precise, the discomfort of clothing should not make you stressed out while writing. Have the most comfortable clothing and that is purely subjective. Your last worry should be your clothes while you consciously worry about the words.
The paradox is that you discover more of these weird things that help you be more effective in due course, which is entirely subjective. What might work for you may not work for others, although sometimes it might. Writing is a personal experience.
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The last one brought a frown and a smile to my face but that is just my Irish sense of humour. I used to try writing correctly until one day I was in a hurry and I agree words flow if we ignore the grammar etc. It can always be changed on another day.
Just found your blog via the StoryReadingApe, who reblogged this. Following, now. I think we’re kindred spirits! Happy Writing!
EXCELLENT! Funny, mosty of your points I already use!
I am up at 4AM seven days a week. COFFEE and Emails frist.
I used to wear a suit and tie every day for work . . . now I write in my T-shirt & Boxers . . . ALL DAY! I keep a Legal pad by my bed and USE it. I NEVER Edit until I have finished and let it sit for a few days and I read every letter of every word of every sentence of every paragraph and DO NOT rely on “Spell Check”. I was lousy in grammar in school, but I’m getting better.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and yours.
Thank you for the great comment and feedback, Michael.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and your family, friends, relatives and all other, as well. 🙂
The last one is interesting, as some time ago, my co-author considered writing in the nude as a method of avoiding distraction… http://nolanparker.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/writing-in-the-nude-an-interesting-concept/
As above. 🙂
Music, definitely! And writing by hand (with a pen on paper) is a great way to avoid premature editing. Once I get to the end of this “proto-draft”, I go to the computer and key in the real first draft. The only downside is that sometimes I have a hard time reading my handwriting weeks or months later. But on the whole I find this a good way to create.
In regards to the last point, I love to write in my pyjamas or sweats. So much more comfortable 🙂 All of these points are completely true and things you learn along the way.
“Can’t write in a suit?” Why not” I’ve done it and so have many other writers. When you have to write, clothes (or lack of them) become irrelevant.
I am going to agree with slrman. I admit that I have an elevated level of sartorial aesthetics, and I often feel…less than fully dressed without a tie. If you are uncomfortable writing in your suit (?), I would recommend that you find a better tailor.
Apart from that one, the other points you make are very good. I especially like the one concerning music.
Writing without editing has been my most useful tool to get over the stumbling block of writing. Before that I would waste time with trying to craft my writing, and of course the problem with that additionally is it seems forced rather than flowing naturally, whereas if one just writes with the flow of thought it will be more natural.
Amazingly, at least in my experience, my writing is not all that crappy on the first draft. Of course that could be due to practice, but most of my mistakes are misspellings, ans especially dropped words.
The part about minimal clothing is a little scary; even more so being I’m an erotica writer. O.O