How to Grope in the Dark and Find Your Writing Mojo

Wow isn’t there a wealth of information out there on how to write, so many e-courses, e-books and membership sites full of useful shortcuts and advice to help. For many, they’re just an unconscious excuse not to get started. It all lends itself to be a modern form of procrastination.

writing

photo credit: kpwerker via photopin cc

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with taking a writing course to improve your skills. Just make sure it’s one you commit to and are held accountable for turning in assignments.

Writing and putting yourself out there is scary because it lays you bare. It is something of you, wholly produced by you, which allows you nowhere to hide. Harnessing that fear and those nerves are what will fuel you to write some of your most engaging content, but first you need to learn to control your fears.

As a teacher and mentor, it is something I have to help people with a lot. You can check out my thoughts on overcoming these fears on my blog.

As for actually finding your writing mojo, you need to find what suits your natural process. It’s a bit like groping around in the dark for something that you’ve misplaced, but keep searching and you’ll hit upon it. Everyone is different. There’s no right way, but there are many ways. You need to experiment to find the right one.

It’s just like a parent learning how best to get a baby off to sleep. Some need music, some need constant motion – driving around, rocking or pushing in their strollers and some need total silence, whilst others need human contact. Each one has their own needs in order to achieve the same results.

Writing is the same – you need to find the routines and environments that suit you best. Once you’ve found your groove, you’re consistently practising, and exercising your writing muscle you’ll be able to train yourself to write almost anywhere.

Just remember that we’re all very different people and we all have very different ways of doing things. Certain hacks in life work for some, but not for others. Generalizations are nonsense and can lead you up the garden path. For instance, egg timers are useful, especially editing in my case, but they don’t suit everyone. If you don’t work well under pressure they can be your worst nightmare not conducive to writing.

What I’m saying is don’t set yourself up to fail. Don’t try and make yourself do it one way just because someone has told you that it’s the right way to do it. There simply isn’t a right way!

Have a go at writing on the train, bus, in the lunchroom, at the park, in the car, in bed, on the sofa, in the garden, on the balcony, at the beach, in the kitchen, in a café and even at your desk. You don’t need a computer to write, try pen and paper, a laptop, voice to text,  your smartphone, or a tablet. In fact, technology is never my first port of call, all my drafts start as the written word on good old-fashioned paper!

Anything goes, do it your way. Get started and you’ll get it done. How have you found your writing flow and where do you find it easiest to write? Share your experiences in the comments sections.

 

 

Kittie Walker
Kittie Walker is the Managing Partner at Indigo Girl a design and communication agency based in London, UK. With over 20 years business experience in multiple industries, she brings a wealth of skills to the projects that she participates in. She has in-depth knowledge of the retail, leisure, banking, hospitality, healthcare and IT sectors. She has an MBA together with a teaching certificate and a passion for lifelong learning.
Kittie Walker

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Comments

  1. rayhiltz says:

    Very true, Kittie. Best way to become a writer is to…write!

  2. Agreed, write! Focus on style and study the techniques of others and the bulb will grow brighter.

  3. Commit to a specific amount of time every day if possible, even if it's just a small amount of time. Committing and following through can be easy: to paraphtase BJ Fogg's method, commit to this infintessimally small amount of writing – "After lunch I will write for three minutes." Like his "After I Brush my teeth, I will floss one tooth", by committing to making this small habit AFTER you have done something you do every day, you will instill this habit, and will be more inclined to follow through. Even if you DO write for three minutes, more than likely you will adjust your schedule naturally to commit more time to writing, and improve your writing, too.

    • Kittie Walker says:

      I agree it's really about taking some action and doing it in baby steps so that you start to build a routine :)

  4. CarrieJKeenan says:

    Great post Kittie! There are days that I have NO writing mojo anywhere to be found. Next time it happens I'll be re-reading this :)

  5. TheJackB says:

    Writing is a skill and if you practice enough it starts to become easier to do it whenever and wherever you go. The hardest part for me isn't coming up with ideas but turning off the internal editor inside my head.

    Blogging has been a great help to me, after almost nine years it has really helped me find my voice.

    • Kittie Walker says:

      Yeah the editor that sits on my shoulder is always telling me I need to do just a little more polishing and some tweaking here and there. How do you know when you are taking the editing too far?

  6. jmelanson13 says:

    Very nice post. I'm struggling to find my writing mojo. I would love to take a course, but am afraid of the time commitment. I am a network marketer, and it takes so much of my time. I'm willing to take heed of any online courses anyone can recomment to me that doesn't cost, and is not a time-consuming beast. Thank you for sharing. All the best.

    • Kittie Walker says:

      What sort of writing are you looking to improve – fiction or non-fiction? There are some pretty good free courses out there, if you let me know exactly what you're looking for I'll dig out some links for you…

  7. BrandEdu says:

    Solid post Kittie, I especially like the line, "… you need to find the routines and environments that suit you best.", this is so true. What works for some won't work for others, there is no bullet proof method. The best advice I received was to just start writing, the more you do it the more comfortable you will get.

  8. ideagirlmedia says:

    Kittie,

    Oh, my gosh! You use paper!!! Me too…. :)

    Excellent advise for a beginner, and sound reminders for the seasoned writer.

    True: There is no "right way." Just do it. Like Nike.

    ~Keri

  9. djoneslucid says:

    Some people seem to procrastinate out of desire to be perfect. "I will not start until I know it can be perfect." A method that works for me is to set a minimum amount of words to write each day. I found setting an amount time allows me to psyche myself out. Did I write for an hour or browse the web for 40 minutes and write for 20. But if 10pm hits and I'm still 200 words short for the day, there is no where to hide. Gotta get to work and finish.

    Next, is to not bother with what to write. I use what I call musings and "rants" where I just write whatever comes to mind and stop when I run out of words. Then, weeks later I will discover I have the workings of an interesting post. This post was the result of just such an exercise: http://www.presidentspilotsentrepreneurs.com/2012….

    Just write. Even if it looks like crap after. You still got the time in and are 1000 words closer to being a better writer.

    Have a great weekend guys.

    • Kittie Walker says:

      Yeah you have that right! The need to achieve perceived perfection can be a nightmare.

      I like the sound of your method, really makes you accountable. I use 750 words (the app) in the morning to spew out a stream of conciousness, I find that gets all the junk out of my mind and provides the basis for interesting articles across a whole raft of topics.

      First outlines/first drafts should in my opinion should be crap. Some have a seed of potential and those are the ones that you should move on with and polish. Nothing worse than working to perfect a first draft as you write it and then find that the entire premise is flawed or has been said over and over before. Shocking waste of time.

      Not every idea/draft is worth following through, but even some of those come in handy in the future. Much better to get plenty of drafts down so that you can pick out the ones to run with. Flexing that writing muscle daily is the important thing.

      You too have a great weekend!

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