A Writing Funk

I’m not sure if you have answered this before, but… what do you do to keep yourself inspired to write? I’m kinda in that zone now. Thanks! :D”formspring

Oooh… this is a good one. Bottom line: discipline. Treat writing like you would any other job that must be done. 

If it’s for your blog, try to give yourself a quota. I try to do a minimum of two entries a month. Whether it be a paragraph on a simple meal or a photo I took with a few sentences for inspiration. 

Now if it’s for work, you truly have no choice. No one wants to hear that you can’t meet a deadline because you’re “uninspired”. I’ve been in a situation more often than I’d like where a deadline was inching closer and I’d been tasked to write something inspiring or creative but my mind was as mushy as an overripe avocado. Not very fun. 

Here are some simple tips that might help:

1. Just start typing: Give yourself just 30 minutes to just type whatever comes to your mind for your article. Don’t judge your substance or form, just let anything that remotely resembles a sentence out of your head. More often than not, you’ve successfully started on the spine of your piece. When you’re done with those 30 minutes, leave it alone. Give your mind a few hours to refresh. I prefer even going back to it after a good sleep. Editing a piece first thing in the morning usually works wonders for me. Continue with this pattern till you’ve got something you can be proud of and submit when your deadline comes around. If you’re still not confident what you’re writing is good enough, have someone you can trust give it a read through. 

2. Write drunk, edit sober: This phrase (often attributed to Ernest Hemingway) is actually pretty effective. For many years, my awesome friend Tals Diaz who had an extremely popular column with the Philippine Daily Inquire would have a glass of red wine (or two) when she was whipping up some really amazing writing. I wrote a philosophy paper on a Saturday night after a party in college and it actually got me the highest grade in class. It’s interesting to see what your mind can come up with when you allow it to relax a bit. 

3. Use a journal to write your thoughts: This tip comes from the husband, there might be times when you don’t feel like attacking your big project and that’s fine. But take the time to just scribble some of your thoughts onto a journal. He likes to sit in a cafe with a warm cup of caffeine pumping his heart, no internet (this really helps!), and a pen + paper. You’ll often find an inspiring thought or two that you might want to use later. 

Any other writers out there want to share their tips?