For every aspiring writer, there is a magical place known as “The Zone”. A place where it’s just you and the words with no distractions or influences. It’s heaven for writers as it means you can focus completely on the story and not worry about your favourite program coming on or burning the dinner.
I must admit I’m feeling quite smug this week. Why? Because I’ve made frequent trips to “The Zone” and have gotten loads done as a result. I don’t tend to work to targets in terms of words per week, but instead pick a point in the story I want to reach and work towards it. I am motivated by increasing word count (what writer isn’t?) but with a full-time job as a sales administrator, I find it much easier choosing a point to work up to. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something that week and also helps me keep track of where the story is going. I started off with just Evie’s story but now I also have Jack’s and Lucia’s to contend with, so keeping track of whose story is where is very important!
This leaves one burning question- how do you get into “The Zone”? For me, it’s quite difficult, I must admit. I work from 9am-5:30pm and come home to immediately start writing. That’s my intention anyway! My 18 week old Westie pup Dixie usually wants to play so I end up playing with her for a while. Then I have dinner. Then something good comes on TV. Then I want to check Facebook/Twitter… You get the idea. Once I’ve exhausted all possible distractions (and turned off my Internet!) a magical moment occurs and I get into “The Zone”. After that, writing becomes easier and my writerly brain fires off words at the speed of light. I’m the first to admit that I didn’t have a full plot outline before starting to write and this was partially a mistake. I’ve never been great at planning stories because I always deviate when I get ideas for how to make the plot better. But I’m at a point now where I know exactly what will happen and when it will happen (only took three incomplete drafts and 190 pages into draft four!) so when I’m in “The Zone”, it’s a truly amazing feeling.
My main tip is turn the Internet off! Unless you need it for research purposes of course (this doesn’t include Twitter or Facebook :P) you get so much more done when you’re not scouring Digital Spy or checking your favourite celebrity’s latest tweets. I sometimes leave mine on as I’ve set The Dream List in a city I’ve never been to before, but by and large I turn it off. Another tip is write somewhere quiet, if this works for you. I prefer writing in the living room because in my room, I have my Kindle, iPad, Sky TV and loads of other distractions. I’m much better off downstairs so I’m not constantly wondering what’s on TV or what everyone else is doing (I’m nosy by nature!)
“The Zone” is a magical place if you can get into it. Some days, it’ll be easy and some days it won’t. How you get there is up to you but it does absolute wonders for your writing!