Whenever I come across that hashtag, I find myself nodding in silent agreement. Workflow. I picture myself those times that I am on top of my game. Productivity is easy. Accomplishments cascade in. Work is creative, easy, flowing.
When I am in #workflow mode, I love writing! My creativity blossoms and lends a spark to my analytical self. Articles come together nicely and everything feels like it fits.
When we aren’t in that mode, though, we know it don’t we? The simplest article can become a struggle.
This Christmas season, and all year round, be kind to yourself. Give yourself the time and space necessary to make room for creativity.
Give yourself the gift of time.
As a teacher, I frequently watch my middle school students receive the instructions for an assignment, grab a computer, open a word processing program and immediately start typing. What are they thinking? What reflection on the topic have they done? Have they allowed themselves to make any connections to deeper learning?
Too many times we do the same thing, even as professional content writers. We check out an assignment, open a word processing document, and immediately begin. While that is a very efficient way to start, does it allow for creativity to flourish? I find that I do my best work when I give myself the gift of time. Allowing my mind to wander over my assigned topic for a few hours while I complete other tasks allows me to create structure and unique viewpoints before I ever sit down to write.
Examine your work habits.
As writers, we know when we are working at our prime and when we are struggling for words. The time of day makes the biggest creative difference for me. At 5 AM, my mind is rested and fresh. Ideas and words flow creatively in a way that I could never hope to have happen at 10 PM. Notes that I put together the day before come together into completed articles in record time.
Consider: When is your best time? Night owl? Pressure writer? If you can, arrange your writing times to take advantage of your prime writing hours.
Guard your workspace carefully.
While we would all love to offer our writing services from a beach in Tahiti, it’s just not practical. We have families, obligations, and ties to our home.
Take a good look at your workspace. Is it functional? Comfortable? Inspirational? It’s hard to be creative in an uncomfortable chair, staring at a blank wall using the same space that your preschooler spilled milk on while playing video games. Take some time to straighten things up and add some personal touches.
My prime writing space isn’t a desk. I have an oversized red arm chair that I have dragged with me everywhere I’ve lived for the past 17 years. I find that space along with a laptop and a large hot cup of coffee to be the best place ever.
Furthermore, I have banned my six year old from my writing space. I will never have to sit on the business end of a Transformer before writing my next article…again.
Janet A is a superstar teacher by day where she routinely wields her superpowers: keen peripheral vision and a calm, authoritative voice. She enjoys a budding freelance career here at Writer Access, mostly by waking at 5 AM and consuming obscene amounts of delicious coffee. It should be noted that Janet gets up that early for no other reason or person, not even her frenemy, exercise.