A short while ago I wrote a post about how to write a novel; not the step-by-step process of outlining, editing, etc., but rather imperative resources or skills that need to be acquired or cultivated before writing a novel. One of the skills I highlighted was developing the habit of writing every day. Well today, I'm going to talk briefly about what I do before I write every day.
The first thing that I do before I begin typing away at my laptop is to ensure that I have all of my supplies for whatever project I am working on. For the novel that I am currently writing, this means making sure that I have my outline, my timeline, my research notes, plenty of blank paper, writing utensils, etc. All the materials that I will need to reference or use when I get into the thick of writing. I don't want to have to go searching for my notes on the University of Paris in the 13th century while I am in the middle of writing an action-packed or conflict-ridden scene. I need that sort of thing right at hand.
The second thing on my list of things to do before writing, and arguably the most important, is prayer. My writing is very much about my God, and for my God. Seeing as my end-game is glory for Him, I start off each writing session with a prayer.
Third, I make myself a cup of tea. This is vital. I have become convinced over the years that tea is the equivalent of gas for my brain which is the engine of my 'car'. I can write without tea, but I don't get as far.
The fourth task I must complete before writing is choosing the music that I will listen to during my writing session. Music helps me to block out the rest of the world and focus on my project and also blocks out any bunny trails my brain might otherwise decide to go on. I usually listen to classical music or movie soundtracks.
When these four things have been done, I get busy at the keyboard and hopefully write a decent amount of words before my tea either runs out or gets cold (the latter happens when I have tons of inspiration and don't have time to take a sip due to the vast amount of words I'm trying to get out of my brain...and is, therefore, rather reassuring. If my tea got cold, I know I was productive. But I digress...).
So, those are the 4 things that I have to do before every writing session to ensure productivity and quality of content. These four things don't apply to my blogging, however. Generally, when I sit down to blog it's because I've had a thought and want to get it down before I forget--because coming up with blog posts is often very difficult for me--or I don't have any thoughts at all and I just stare at a blinking cursor until something happens. It is entirely possible that if I implemented my novel writing essential 4 tasks, then my blogging experience would be that much better. I may, in fact, try this in future.
In the meantime, Happy Writing, everybody!