Sunday, March 16, 2014

Getting Into the Writing Zone (or For the Love of Music)

Tip of the Day: Scrivener, the Must Have Digital Writing Tool, is on sale for only $20 for a limited time through AppSumo! I just bought my copy and can't wait to use the Save the Cat outline + Scrivener to write my next MG novel; I'm sure the novel will practically write itself.

I have committed myself to e-pubbing DESERTED, the sequel to BLACKOUT, on August 1 -- if not before! In order to make this deadline, I need to finish writing it, get crit partner feedback, get it copyedited, send it for formatting, and upload it in just four short months.

Can I do it?

Of course I can!

What do I need to do to make it happen?

Write like there is no tomorrow!

Or at least write like there is no internet/Candy Crush/distractions.

It's not like writing DESERTED isn't fun -- it totally is! It takes place in Las Vegas and involves rogue environmental groups and secret chemical experiments to harness natural energy. I get to call on both my sister and brother for their Vegas and chemist expertise.

Still, like many people with 21st century technology at our disposal, it's easy to get -- oh, wait, it's my turn on Words With Friends. I'll be right back.

Oh, right.

What helps me tally up my word count is going to the library (not where I work; that would be the opposite of productive writing time) or Panera, plugging in my earbuds and pumping up the tunes, and cranking on the keyboard for 2-4 hours. Not only does the location make me stay on task (since I'm not on my couch getting too comfy), but the music helps, too.

How does the music help? I'm not sure exactly, but last month I went to an author talk by Heather Terrell and she said what helps her switch her brain from mom/household chores mode to writer mode is playing the same music that she's been writing to all along. She couldn't remember where she'd heard that the musical association worked like that, but once she said it, something clicked for me:

THAT'S why I keep listening to the Twilight Soundtrack!

Ahem.

To be fair, I alternate it with the rest of the saga's music, plus Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and The Great Gatsby. For some reason, albums with various artists work for me, as do those with a YA flavor when I'm writing contemporary YA fiction.

The other night I needed to get some writing done, and the library wasn't open and I didn't want to leave the warmth of my living room to head to Panera, and my mind was already wandering to Things Other Than Writing. So I decided to give the music association theory a shot. I queued up my Stephenie Meyer inspired iTunes tracks...and finished my outline in 2 hours while sitting on the couch!

I won't give up my library/cafe writing zone, but I do feel like I have another option that can work fairly well when I'm at home.

What helps trick your brain into being Writing Ready?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

3 comments:

Jenni Enzor said...

What a great idea! I hadn't heard of the music association thing, but it makes sense. I know what you mean about getting distracted. I have a hard time writing in cafes or libraries, because there's other people about.

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

Music works for me too, but pretty much any brief ritual can become associated with writing and signal our brains that it's time to write.

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