How I Created A Writing Manifesto to Get My Writing Process in Shape

  1. Get up early in the morning to write. I usually write between 6.30am to 8.30am. I tried writing late at night and got into a counter-productive routine of falling asleep at 10.30 pm, waking up at 2 am and working for a couple of hours. Maybe that’s your ideal time to write but I’ve found the morning best for me.
  2. Give yourself the chance to write the ‘rubbish first draft’. You might craft it down and only use a tiny fraction, but in order to get it all out you should not restrict yourself. No matter what you will write, you’ll have to go back and do plenty of crafting and editing anyway.
  3. Create a place for writing. This might be a mental space or a favourite cafe. I like a clean, tidy place, with good lighting and no distractions.
  4. Music. I’m fussy with what I listen to when I write. Music I haved listened to whilst writing: Chopin’s piano sonatas, Vangelis, Stravinsky, Mike Oldfield’s 'Music of the Spheres', and Hans Zimmer’s 'The Last Samurai' soundtrack (I have perculiar taste). If it goes too epic, cheesy, choral, floral, frenetic, catchy or whatever then I generally turn it off. Its all about whatever works at the time.
  5. Read, read, read. I’m presently reading 'A Walk in the Mountains of Georgia' by Tony Anderson.
  6. Take notes and keep a detailed journal whilst you travel. I kept a journal throughout my journey. It’s been absolutely vital for remembering details. Reading it triggers further memories and has allowed me to weave the storyline and I am able to research further into stories and information I picked up at the time as if I was retracing the route.
  7. Look at photos and video media. I took many photos which are great for taking me back to the moment and to what I was thinking and feeling. After all, a picture tells a thousand words.
  8. Don’t try to do too much at once. I write for a maximum of 2.5 hours.
  9. A rest is good. Sometimes its good to take a couple of days off and come back to your writing refreshed and enthusiastic.
  10. On the contrary, sometimes its good to plough on and force myself to keep writing because I am often being over critical or over analysing which is holding me back. For me, it takes a short while to get into the zone so I try to suspend judgement and keep writing until I’m sure I am going to stop.

Good luck with your writing process.

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