Writing is easier for me when I’m in flow. That is, when I feel some challenge in expressing the content and producing text, but, even though challenged, I know that I have the skills that are needed.
The tricky part is getting into flow.
1. To move into flow, write more quickly.
Until I’m in flow, I yield to distraction and look for any opportunity to make a break for it.
This is what works for me. To stick with the writing long enough to be in flow, I write as fast as I can, making odd marginal notes, getting as much down on paper as quickly as I can. The more text, the better. As the quantity of text mounts, it will be evident to my ole Lizard Brain that I’m not in danger. No reason to bolt. The more text I have, the more likely I am to keep at it.
2. To move into flow, build some urgency.
If you’re like me, unless we feel that there’s some urgency surrounding our writing, we can be entirely too casual about producing text and producing it fairly quickly.
Here’s a tip: To build some urgency, make your schedule visible. It’s easy to keep your head in the sand about deadlines or the passage of time. To keep time relevant, put your weekly and daily goals on a White Board. Having the daily task or goal on the board not only gives you a visual reminder of what you have to do this week, but also allows you to erase what you have finished.
3. To produce more text, write at odd moments.
Riding the subway or train presents odd moments but often we aren’t equipped to write when we’re commuting. One of my marvelous clients has tried to write on her laptop during her commute, but the laptop was more of an obstacle than a help. The size and weight made it cumbersome, giving her a backache. Determined to make use of the otherwise lost time, she bought a Netbook—one of those new lightweight, small very portable laptops. She can carry the less-than-three-pound laptop in her bag, and its ten-inch width lets her write while she’s scrunched in a seat on the commuter train.
4. To seize the present, remove obstacles to writing.
Are there some obstacles keeping you from writing? Have you been ignoring your writing project?
Read my Smart Tips for Writers newsletter that will be sent out this coming Tuesday. The main article is “The Ignored Writing Project: Six Tips to Get You Back into Action.”
All the best,
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach