Think about your creative process. We’ve analyzed the fiction but now let’s consider the function.
How do you write? Not the what, but the where and the when of it.
Do you prefer working early in the morning in busy coffee shops or late at night in the solitude of your inner sanctum? Do you require perfect silence or do you set the mood with music? Do you have a whole routine that gets you into the proper mental headspace or do you wait for inspiration to strike?
While making art and telling stories can be difficult and frustrating at times, recognizing the physical elements around you that make the process easier can allow you to spend more time working on the story you’re trying to tell and less time staring at a blank page.
Every writer has their own process, and although that process might vary wildly from person to person, there is more often than not the common element of consistency. Upheaval can be exciting and interesting, but it can also be mentally draining and take time away from creative pursuits. Following a routine, whatever it might be--working at the same desk every day, preparing the same elaborate cup of tea, wearing your special writing shoes--might not sound interesting but if it helps you get that story out of your head and into the world, then that’s all that matters.
There are no right or wrong answers, this is just about identifying what works best for you.
A good way to start is by identifying the things that distract you and either removing them--like keeping your phone in another room--or deciding what can be dealt with later--like dishes and other chores. Trust me, they can wait. Don’t use these elements as excuses to procrastinate.
Next, make sure you’re comfortable. Proper posture is important, as is stretching regularly. A kitchen counter, a standing desk, even a beanbag on the floor are all acceptable options as long as you’re able to focus on your writing and your feet aren’t falling asleep.
Most importantly, once you find something that works, keep doing it. It might seem boring at first, but there’s every chance that the repetition of a consistent pattern will foster a healthy creative atmosphere for your ideas to flow. Worst case scenario, it doesn’t and you try something new. If you dislike working in silence, try to find music without lyrics. If you find yourself spending more time searching for songs that “set the right tone” than telling your story, maybe it’s time to try white noise. If the artificial hum isn’t helping, consider looking for a place to work that will provide a natural soundtrack--someplace with flowing water or the buzz of quiet conversation. Eventually, you’ll find what you need and then the real work of telling your story can begin.