Writing can be stressful.
With deadlines, length requirements, messaging constraints, and the dreaded writer’s block, even a simple sentence can provoke anxiety. But, there’s hope for writers everywhere. Follow these 10 easy tips and you’ll be well on your way to finding your Zen, and becoming more productive with your writing.
- Use aromatherapy
We often get so caught up in our task that we don’t ever stop to smell the roses, or in this case, the lavender or the lemon. The next time you’re in a rut, try taking a deep breath of one of these two relaxing agents. They’re known to have stress-reducing effects (as long as you don’t mind lavender or lemon, of course!). Dab some oil on a napkin, light a candle, or plug in a scent, and smell your way to a more relaxed state of mind.
- Take breaks
Sometimes the best way to get work done is to step away from it. Take a quick walk around your house or office to get the blood flowing. Stretch to release the tension in your body and in your brain. Close your eyes to keep them from straining if you’re staring at a computer screen. And dare we say, check Facebook, or watch a silly video? Do whatever you need to tackle your task feeling refreshed and restored.
- Reduce technology use
Don’t let your computer turn you into a hunchback. Hunching over a bright screen can lead to dry eyes and a knot in your back. Unless you really need a computer, try using your pen and paper. It’s portable, lighter, and doesn’t strain your body as much as its technical counterpart. Oh, and it will help you retain information better than just typing.
- Remember to breathe
When stress gives you a bad case of groggy brain syndrome, the reason for the lack of concentration could be that your body literally needs to breathe. Stress is a weird thing; it can force you to hold your breath. So if you’re not aware of it now, how can you prevent it from happening in the future? A simple solution is to set an alarm on your phone. If you’re into technology, you can download an app that will automatically send you notifications reminding you to take a deep breath or just set an alarm on your phone. Either way, get some air, and get those great ideas flowing.
- Set a routine
It’s said that creative geniuses are not organized. It’s also said that a disorganized process and environment leaves you feeling disorganized when writing. Sticking with the latter, you should try to schedule strict work and break times so you don’t keep taking breaks to procrastinate. Clean your workplace before starting so the mess doesn’t distract you. Being organized will organize your thoughts.
- Don’t fear mistakes
Many people have trouble writing because they’re afraid of it not being good. But, as the old adage goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Rather than wasting time worrying about how it will turn out, spend time writing it. If you’re not throwing away pages left and right, you’re not getting anywhere.
- Invite feedback
As painful as it sounds, it never hurts to ask for input from a trusted friend or family member. You’ll find that you’re either right on track with where you should be, or that there are some gaps to fill. Positive feedback can give you a confidence boost to keep going, and constructive criticism can give you a new perspective or offer some changes you can make to make it even better. Just don’t forget to take everything with a grain of salt.
- Write every idea, good AND bad
If you are your harshest critic, then tell your inner-editor to have a little fun. Every idea has value, even if it has nothing to do with your subject at hand. Don’t stop yourself from writing down an idea. Just because you think it might not be relevant now doesn’t mean it might not be helpful further in to your project. Write everything down so you can come back to it, or get a new idea by re-reading it.
- Get comfortable
An uncomfortable chair that hurts your back will almost certainly hurt your writing. Likewise, a pen that hurts your hand will hurt your writing. If you’re concentrating on pain and discomfort, then you’re not concentrating on the task at hand. With a comfortable chair and a quality pen with a good grip (like Z-Grip!), you’ll be able to write, distraction free!
- Focus and just do it
After all is said and done, let’s not forget about the worst of our bad habits – procrastination. Despite the signals of stress, disorganization and discomfort, it’s not above any of us to just put stuff off until the last minute! How often have you been in that position? If you’re dealing with procrastination, the simplest thing to do is to stop everything you’re doing, and just focus on what needs to be done. Eliminate all distractions, and just do it! Go under the bed for all we care. Finish reading this blog, and face your challenge head-on.
When it comes to writing, sometimes all you need is a bit of Zen. With these 10 easy tips, you’ll be well on your way to a relaxing and successful writing experience. Need to find the perfect companion to your writing experience? Find Zen on the path to enlightened writing!