How to get in the right mood to write

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If you’re anything like me, sometimes you’ll find it hard to kick-start yourself and get into writing mode. If you’re writing at home this can be even harder, because there are endless distractions around the place to help you procrastinate … housework, dog walking, grass cutting, cooking, eating, you name it.

Even if you’re in work mode and can justify business hours spent on your book, blog, article, speech or whatever because it will be a business tool, the reality is it can be hard to focus and make the best of those hours.

article about getting in the right mood to write

Peace and privacy are essential if you are to organise your thoughts. Often a quiet cubicle is the only reasonable and available choice.

While the sheer obstructions of life aren’t necessarily an issue, often I still find that the problem is not that I don’t want to start writing, but that I don’t know where to start. So, I find it hard to concentrate my efforts in a productive direction. If you have the same problem from time to time, here are a few ideas that may help you.

How to concentrate

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Brighten up your writing with the right kind of humour

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For generations people have been saying that laughter is good medicine. And now the scientists have taken an interest it turns out great-grandma was right. The boffins have discovered that laughter releases helpful goodies in the body which boost your immune system.

aricle about using humour in writing

As long as the butt of the joke is a set of circumstances, not the people, you’re far less likely to upset anyone.

In fact the therapeutic benefits of laughter are harnessed by academia and the business community into laughter workshops and other formalised chuckle sessions. Get the workers laughing and you raise productivity, so it seems.

However it is extremely easy to get humour wrong. [Read more…]

Why writing is our new comfort food

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Do you ever wonder what’s going to go schiz next before we break out the virtual bubbly and sing Auld Lang Syne on Zoom for December 31st this year?

Assuming an earthquake hasn’t chopped off and sucked the United States down into the Gulf of Mexico leaving a comfortable isthmus between South America and Canada to use for amicable trade arrangements at last?

why writing is our new comfort food

At a time when flying pigs and unicorns seem not only normal but mundane, simple activities like writing are comfort foods to feed our inner souls.

Or assuming that the World Health Organisation hasn’t turned out to be a group run by aliens from another galaxy who take pleasure in watching us all shrivel up from evil viruses so they can take over and mine our few remaining natural resources?

Or assuming that Vladimir Putin and XI Jinping don’t turn out to have been conjoined twins (having then had a little culture-defining cosmetic surgery) who secretly plan to turn their countries into Ruschina and dominate the universe? [Read more…]

Writing roundup – 4 great topics to help you write better

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Here are the latest ‘shorty’ posts I’ve been sharing on social media recently … the first two are about books, and the last two are about writing in general. Enjoy!

writing tips

Can you tell if a book has been produced professionally? Here’s how
  1. The cover should still be readable and attractive when its image is small, e.g. on Amazon
  1. The back cover ‘blurb’ must be enticing and correct, and text on the book’s ‘spine,’ straight and centred.

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Trying to write and sweat at the same time…

If you’re working from home and do not benefit from the rewards (hopefully healthful) of working in a fully airconditioned office building, right now during COVID-19 issues anyway … have a read. I sympathise. And right at the bottom is a suggestion to take a leaf out of our Canadians’ book…

SWEET, SWEATY SUMMER

It’s 34 degrees outside
Perfect for dear old Dubai
But western Bedfordshire’s not quite
So suited to such temps that high.

I open all my windows up
Expecting cooler air to share
Oh, “wrongeroonie” I exclaim
It’s f***ing hellish-hot out there!

funny poem about working during a heatwave with no air conditioning

As I sweat and look just ghastly, I think back to babyhood…

[Read more…]

Why you’ll fall in love with Bullet Journaling

Please welcome my friend and colleague Sarah Sibley, the founder of Got2Jot – a fashion stationery company with the most gorgeous designs of all kinds, both for personal and some business uses. Sarah is a huge fan of Bullet Journaling – a highly personalised type of ordinary journaling . I asked her to tell us about it … and why she fell in love with it. Now I’m falling in love with it, too…over to Sarah:

article about bullet journaliing by sarah sibley on how to write better with suzan st maurI came across Bullet Journaling about three years ago. Attending trade shows and working in the stationery industry gave me a chance to find out more and see what this craze from the US was all about.

Since then I’ve been hooked. It is a simple system for those who still love putting pen to paper but are looking to be more organised in their lives.

We know that writing things down helps to offload some of that stress so that you can clear your mind and look at things more objectively. But sometimes writing lists and more lists can make things worse, as it can be overwhelming. [Read more…]

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