|Completed Manuscript - ready to be posted|
I have now come to the end of writing my manuscript for my 2nd book “Creating your first ever CV in seven easy steps”. 34,000 words, 11,000 over what I initially had planned. It was tough this time because I was fitting it round everything else that I do, so I really did have to develop a writing practice and ritual that helped me get through it. My note taking and book development takes place off line, with pens and pad. Then, when I’m ready, I move to the computer where I expand on the ideas and start the writing process.
I absolutely love sitting down with a journal and pens, developing ideas, thinking of the process and creating the formula. However, sometimes, in translating that to sitting in front of the computer screen, I need to be guided and cajoled into it. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when I’m there and ‘in it’ however with this second book and managing my time, I have developed a really important practice that gets me through that initial phase of ‘starting’.
Step 1: Take some Concentration Essence – from the range of 12 flower remedies by Jan de Vries (it’s Wonderful stuff, I love Relaxing and also Emergency).
Step 2: Make your environment welcoming; light incense, a candle, essential oils. ( I love Clary Sage and Geranium, plus Nag Champa.)
Step 3: Use music when you begin. Put on a piece that you can start to link to your writing. I never listen to words in music; Two years ago, I started to listen to the same particular Baroque album over and over again, now it has free-associated itself to my writing practice. Just recently I have also introduced Sacred Drums, which too, assists my brain function and almost takes me into a trance-like state.
Step 4: You’re now going to do something computer based and methodical
- Tidy up files on your desktop – all those messy documents and downloads – well, it’s time to organise them. Set the timer for 10 minutes and get going. Send them to the Recycle Bin.
- Sift through any old word documents that you have saved and relevant to your creative practice and file it in an Ideas Folder - you have one of them, right?
- Print out anything that you have found inspiring – only do this if your printer is all set up to receive (don’t be getting up, sidetracking and setting up the cables!). Print out what you feel is relevant.
- Go through your photos and assign them to albums, send ones you want to print out to a Print File so that you can do that at a later date.
- Create a new desktop background that inspires you.
- Generally do any clean up work on your computer that gets you 'in to' the zone, whilst taking in the music, letting the concentration essence work its magic, drinking some tea and smelling some smells - it's all about the senses!
Step 5: Go and find something or someone that reminds you of your creative self, could be from childhood or younger days - maybe a cuddly toy you used to tell your dreams?. Give Hugs and sit him beside you so that he can be witness to the occasion. Yes, I’m serious. Go on. (Oops, I think that gives away the fact that this is EXACTLY what I did : ))
Step 6: Finally, when your head is in writing mode - Reread your writing from the day before or the last time you wrote.
Step 7: Make a cup of tea (in a mug you adore) and before you know it, you’ll be back into the swing of it.
Some of the above may instantly appeal – you may already be doing some of them – so Well Done YOU – hope that I have helped with any ideas.
PS this can work just as well if you have revision to do or a computer task that needs undivided attention.