Finding Your Conscious Writing Rhythm – Part 1

Friday 25 May 2018 - Posted by Julia McCutchen

One of the topics that always comes up in mentoring sessions with people who are making the transition from thinking about writing to taking action is how to find a good writing rhythm.

This is such an important subject that I’ve decided to do a couple of posts covering the key practical aspects to consider.

Let’s start by exploring the question…

WHEN?

As a general rule, putting your writing first works for most people most of the time.

This means that you ideally start the day with some kind of energy and/or meditation practice and then write before anything else.

Even if you only spend 15 or 20 minutes writing, at least you’ve fulfilled your commitment to your creative impulse before you tackle other tasks.

The Writing Habit

Just 15 minutes a day quickly builds the writing habit you need to establish if you want to take your writing seriously.

However, this approach doesn’t work for everyone. Some writers love the early evening twilight zone or come alive creatively at the end of the day and well into the night.

As long as whatever you choose is sustainable and produces the results you’re aiming for, it’s serving its intended purpose.

Dive In

  • Explore writing at different times of the day to see what suits you best. Then develop a regular rhythm for yourself based on that.

WHERE?

The external environment you choose for your writing ideally needs to reflect the internal alignment you’ve cultivated in preparation for your creative work.

For me this preferably means writing at home, where I’m close to nature and able to immerse myself in silence and solitude at various locations around the house and garden.

As my Conscious Writing practice has matured, however, so too has my capacity to write anywhere – on the train, in a hotel lobby or crowded café.

I simply create an energetic space like a transparent bubble around me and within it I write freely. I’m aware of my surroundings yet fully present to my work and oblivious to anything bar emergencies.

Away From Your Regular Workspace

At the very least, I recommend that you find somewhere away from your regular workspace, even if you’re sitting in a different corner of the same room.

Some writers thrive in busy environments and relish the stimulus of people coming and going and the snippets of overheard conversations – all of which can trigger creative ideas.

Being away from your familiar surroundings may free you up creatively. Yet, simply going outside on a warm day can equally reward you with a completely fresh perspective.

In addition to your choice of regular writing places, I highly recommend giving yourself the priceless gift of time away from the distractions of everyday life at a guided or private retreat.

A few days of deep immersion in Conscious Writing at least once during a major writing project will result in quantum leaps of tangible progress at every level.

Dive in

  • Explore a range of writing environments to discover where you find your deepest flow and play with having a variety of possibilities to suit different times of the year.

HOW?

The third question relating to finding your Conscious Writing rhythm is how you physically put the words on the page.

It’s incredible to think that not so long ago all books were written by hand!

To this day there are authors who prefer hand writing their first draft and relish the feeling of connection with their heart that’s so often present when pen meets paper.

For most of us, however, laptops provide the optimal solution for filling the blank screen with the words that become sentences, paragraphs and eventually blogs, books and more.

The Spoken Word

For those whose experience and ease lie in the spoken word, or when limitation of any kind prevents the physical act of writing, voice recognition software opens the door to writing and authorship.

A mix of options may well be the answer as you handwrite in your journal, record ideas on your smart phone and speak or type directly into your computer for first-draft writing and project completion.

Dive In

  • Explore a variety of ways to put your words on the page until you land on an approach that facilitates rather than frustrates your conscious and creative flow.

Where are you in relation to finding a writing rhythm that works for you? Please share your comments and experience or ask a question below. Thank you!

Further Resources

  • To read Finding Your Conscious Writing Rhythm: Part 2, click here.

5 Comments

  • Great topic, Julia. I prefer early morning but also still have this need to get other things out of the way before I start. (phone calls; emails;house chores;etc) This then results in me writing more in the afternoon~~which works~~especially if I’ve cleared my desk (and my mind) of things needing immediate attention. I hold the hope that one day I can use those early hours for writing and then get to the other stuff.

    I will hand-write early drafts but prefer to type the bulk of what I’m writing.

    I can work on “ideas” while out at a coffee shop but prefer to do the actual work at my desk, in my study where everything I need, including reference material, is at hand. And it’s a comfortable space.

    Another limitation I still struggle with is: I feel a need to have a larger amount of time available when I sit down to write. I might capture thoughts or ideas here and there but as far as the writing itself, I can’t imagine trying to do that without at least 30-40-60 minutes to do it.

    I want to be open to doing things differently, realizing the possibility of creating a new experience that I might never have imagined.

    Thank you, Julia, for inviting this conversation.

    • Hi Helen, thanks for sharing your experience and the details of your current rhythm. The main thing is to find what works for you and that can change over time so it’s worth remaining flexible and open to possibilities.I’m glad you’ve appreciated exploring this topic!

  • When I first began to write I was up at dawn and entered my creative flow with the rising sun. Now I have a more flexible approach and begin each day with meditation and a journal practice which helps me to centre myself for my day ahead. I set my intention to write before checking emails and spend an hour or so writing or editing my current project. as long as I write every day, I can satisfy my creative soul.

    • That all sounds wonderful Jeanine. Clearly your process is working for you as you’re writing regularly and I love that it’s satisfying your creative soul to do so! Thanks for sharing.

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