SIX WRITERS SHARE THEIR WRITING ROUTINES AND MINDSET TIPS.

I've found that creating a writing routine can be a great step in establishing writing as a regular habit and consistent part of your day-to-day. For me, it's been an important way to really commit to writing fiction, to get myself to show up to the page even on the hard days, to make that real progress with my manuscripts. Starting a writing session with the right mindset is the key to spending less time making excuses and more time writing, and shaping positive rituals and routine around your process can be one way to do this.

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TAKING YOUR WRITING SERIOUSLY AS A BEGINNER.

When we're taking those early, tentative keystrokes into the world of writing, how do we know when we've earned the right to call ourselves a writer? It's something I certainly encountered when I was starting out with novel writing, and it's something I keep seeing pop up in conversations online. It seems like we attach a level of expertise or status with the title of writer, which makes it difficult to give it to ourselves when we still feel very much beginners.

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THE VALUE OF TIME SPENT ON CREATIVE PASSION PROJECTS.

When it comes to committing to a big writing project like a novel or book, I totally understand that feeling of resistance that pops up for lots of us. Doubt and fear play a role, definitely, but one of the more surprising obstacles can be a sense of guilt. How can we overcome this guilt and seek out a mindset which acknowledges the value in nurturing our creativity?

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HOW TO BREAK A BIG WRITING PROJECT DOWN.

Long term writing projects (like a novel, or even a collection of short stories or essays) can be very daunting before we take that leap and actually make a start. Like looking up at a mountain when you’re stood at the bottom, all you can see is the sheer scale of the work before you.

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HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR WRITING IDEAS AND INSPIRATION.

We've all had that feeling of the perfect idea arriving at exactly the wrong moment. Maybe you've just got into bed, maybe you're about to get off the bus and head into the office, maybe the timer for dinner is going off.

But what if you could find a way to catch all of those ideas when they pop up, and get them filed away and organised appropriately?

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PROTECT YOUR WRITING TIME BY SAYING NO TO THESE THINGS.

One of the most important things we can do for our writing is to give it time. Uninterrupted, focused, committed - and yes, a little selfish - time.

Why then, does it feel difficult to make that time? Why do so many of us (myself included), find it difficult to protect our dedicated writing time? Perhaps we feel silly, maybe it's self-indulgent or foolish to pour all of that time and energy into a hobby that might seem frivolous or intangible to some?

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FOUR SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE HIDING IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE.


Ahh, the comfort zone. It's safe and easy, and most of us are guilty of lingering there a little longer than we should at times. I don't think a little bit of sitting in that comfort zone is all bad, but when it comes to creativity, it's not something we should rest in forever. The comfort zone is familiar and repetitive, minimising stress - so it can be really useful if you need to refocus on some of that personal enjoyment of your creative process.

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DESIGNING A ROUTINE THAT SUPPORTS YOUR CREATIVITY.

Lots of us feel trapped or stifled when we impose a sense of structure or routine on our days. Maybe it's the inner rebel in us, the feeling that we just don't like being told what to do and when (even when we're the ones telling ourselves). But good routines, with good habits, can be hugely beneficial in building a lifestyle that allows the time and energy we need to be creative.

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HOW TO USE REFLECTION AS A WEEKLY PLANNING TOOL.

When it comes to planning for a creative project - whether that's working towards a specific goal or more simply setting aside that time to hone your craft - putting in place a very strict structure can sometimes work against you.

It can leave you feeling stifled and frustrated, send you off course without realising and even deepen an impending period of creative block.

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SEEKING BALANCE ONLINE.

Is it possible to find a balance between living your life (and living it honestly) and sharing it online?

Maybe it's just the season, but it seems as though there's been a bit of a shift in the mood on instagram lately. A bit of reluctance, a bit of resistance - a push against the way it rewards us for consistency of engagement alone. Maybe we're tired of the formulas, tired of the quantity over quality mindset - I know I am.

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MAKING CREATIVITY A PRIORITY.

Making your creative projects a priority can be an important step in building tangible progress and that helps hugely with motivation and staying power. It shifts your mindset into taking your art more seriously and makes it less of a battle to squeeze time for creativity into your day-to-day.

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TRACKING PROGRESS OVER A LONG-TERM CREATIVE PROJECT.

When we're working on something long term, that nobody else gets to see for a long long time, when it's just us and the blank page, or sketchbook, or wherever - is it still important for us to measure our achievements, to celebrate those tiny, incremental wins along the winding path of a creative life? And for those projects which are purely personal, the ones we do to learn a new skill, or to relax at the end of the day - is the progress irrelevant or even meaningless to the process itself? 

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WHY I DON'T BELIEVE IN CREATIVE BLOCK.

I don’t believe in creative block. Here's what I do believe in: the difficult business of showing up to your art, again and again and again. When it feels easy, when it feels hard, when it feels impossible. Finding the rhythm and the repetition in this process is the key to shutting the door on creative block and getting the work done. 

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THREE WAYS TO INVEST IN YOUR CREATIVITY.

It seems a little strange to think about creativity as something to invest in. Investing is something you do when you want to profit as a result in the future, right? And not all of us make art with the intention of making money from it. Well, not all profit is financial. When we're serious about living a wholehearted and intentional life of creativity, investing - whether that's our time and energy into a new skill or project; or in seeking external support and accountability…

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WHY A CHANGE IS (NEARLY) AS GOOD AS A REST.

It's not always easy to tell if we need a break. With all the guilt and doubt that often surrounds taking time away from our creative passions or creative businesses, it's hardly surprising that the issue of time off is one that often feels a little loaded. Sometimes, or course, we simply can't take a break. We have income to make, clients to serve, deadlines (self imposed or otherwise) to meet.

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HOW SIMPLE, DAILY ACTION BOOSTED MY PINTEREST VIEWS.

Growing anything is a long game - a new creative skill, a business, a social media account - it takes patience and consistency and a certain amount of stamina when it comes to simply showing up and doing the work, even when it feels like you're not getting anywhere. 

It’s so natural to feel frustrated by what feels like an unbearably slow rate of growth, and this frustration is often a major stumbling block for lots of us.

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WHY A NO SPEND MONTH CAN BOOST YOUR CREATIVE FOCUS.

How is your relationship with money? Mine isn’t terrible, but a recent (and very overdue) catch up with my accounts made me cringe a little at all of the unnecessary, meaningless purchases I make in a month. When you couple that with a growing passion for minimalism (which I define as: living more simply, being more intentional with my belongings, surrounding myself with more of the things I love), I decided it could be a good opportunity to reset…

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HOW SELF PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY CAN HELP YOUR CONFIDENCE AND CREATIVITY.

This time last year, if you had asked me how I felt about being photographed, I'd have laughed. Including my hands or my torso in images was the furthest I'd moved towards taking a self portrait I felt comfortable sharing. I took a couple of bio/headshots when I absolutely had to for an interview - but I didn't like them enough to use on my website or blog, and I certainly would never have posted them on instagram. 


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