Insecure Writers Support Group
IWSG,  Novels

Rituals Used To Get In The Zone

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This month’s IWSG optional question was to do with rituals used to get in the zone.

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Getting “in the zone”

I suppose I don’t really have any rituals for getting in the zone for writing, but I have found a few ways of getting in the zone for thinking.

Many a time, I know in my head what I want to write about, but really struggle to put thoughts to paper (or laptop).

When I wrote my first novel, Kiss From A Dragon, I found that the best way to do this was to go for a drive. I would turn off the stereo and talk to myself in my car. Odd, I know, but it worked for me.

I would have a conversation with myself as if I were brainstorming with someone else, and more often than not, I would eventually find a way to write down what I wanted to describe or portray.

This method is a bit more difficult nowadays when just going out in the car to have a think about my writing cannot really be classed as an essential journey. To get round this, I just go sit in the car and talk to myself there.

Strangely enough, this seems to work too.

Hope everyone is keeping safe and well, and writing is prosperous.

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16 Comments

  • soniadogra

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    A conversation with self helps me too. Although I’m not really loud. But yes, sometimes. Congratulations for the book. Wish you safety and health.

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  • Nancy Gideon

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    My best ideas ALWAYS appeared while driving (and not having the means to write them down!). I used to break speed limits to get to the office so I could write down a bit of dialogue before it got away. Now that I’ve retired, I find going out onto the deck to kick back in the silence (accept now when everyone’s mowing their lawns!), I can conquer the most obstinate creativity block. Maybe it’s the Vitamin D. Win-Win.

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    • Chris Pennington

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      Yes that’s the only problem with driving – by the time you get home, the idea has either gone or wasn’t half as good as when you were in the car!

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  • ChemistKen

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    I used to get some of my best ideas while driving, so I had to buy a digital voice recorder so I wouldn’t lose it. It was a lot safer than trying to write it down while driving.

    And yeah, trying to get the ideas in my head down onto words on the paper is a real struggle for me. I’m not a natural writer, but I love spinning stories about fantasy, so I put up with the headaches and plow through it.

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    • Chris Pennington

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      That’s a terrific idea, I never thought of that! Thanks for the suggestion!

      I’m no natural writer either, and I do struggle sometimes. Most of the time, actually! Like you, I love fantasy stories, so that is encouragement enough to plow on.

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  • Nick Wilford

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    I think having a space to get away to think is a really good idea, I find it hard to process thoughts sometimes too. Walking the dogs helped for me, but we’re not doing so that much now – luckily we’ve got a pretty big garden and great weather, so they’re outside most of the time – and I go and hang out with them! Congrats on the book release too.

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    • Chris Pennington

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      Thankyou! And yes, it’s a good job we are having a bit of decent weather, would be really depressing with everything else that is going on if we couldn’t even get out.

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  • Debs Carey

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    I’ve always said one of the places I do my thinking is while driving, but although I’ve never admitted to it, it does involve talking to myself. I’ve had to be careful on my daily exercise walk as I’ve a terrible habit of talking to myself – out loud – and there’s a lot more people around now to hear me! I certainly don’t want the neighbours thinking “crazy old woman” …

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  • Heather Musk

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    Hi Chris. I talk to myself a lot too, but have never thought to do it as part of the thinking process for writing. Do you record what you say in case you forget or for future reference?

    Good luck with the release of your novel, sounds intriguing!

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    • Chris Pennington

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      Thanks Heather!
      I must admit, I’ve never recorded anything but this has been recommended to me so I might give it a go. Luckily I seem to have a decent memory so I usually jot everything down when I leave the car. I probably lose some thoughts this way, but probably get the most exciting ones down eventually.

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