How to Clear Your Mind to Let the Writing Process Flow

How to Clear Your Mind to Let the Writing Process Flow

I had someone ask how I clear my mind so I can focus and get writing. I would like to say I do yoga and mental mind-clearing exercises to make this happen. I think these would be great activities to do exactly that…but I have not done either with regards to writing.

Still I do notice a few things that have worked for me and will happily share them with whoever is reading write now.

Set My Head the Night Before

I set my head the night before, like I would set a clock. I set my mind to prepare for the countdown of when I’ll get to write next. I tell myself to tick, tick, tick away with ideas in the background of my daily running around. I guess you could also think about it like a crockpot of ideas simmering until I have time dish my food for thought out. It’s great because I usually have something I want to write about by the time I can squeeze some writing in for the day.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

I need to have my basic needs properly met. Sleep. Eat. Drink. (By “Drink,” I mean healthy things like water and milk)

In particular, I need to make sure I’m well rested when I’m writing. I have literally fallen asleep while writing. The stuff just before I fell asleep was oddly enough, not my best work. Whereas I find if I do get a good night’s sleep, then oddly enough, I’m able to get a good day’s work in.

Don’t Go Online

Don’t go online. Don’t go online. Don’t go online.

I can get lost on the Internet: reading the latest news, checking social media, researching ideas, etc. I find social media a particularly bad habit. I want to see what everyone is up to, I want to respond to emails and twitter about.

But then I’m reading, responding and reacting. My head is running with other people’s problems, ideas, agendas. But what I need to do is write about the problems, ideas and agendas of my characters. Yes, in order to write and go into my character’s world, I need to hide from reality.

Hiding from Reality

Hiding from reality also means not checking your phone, answering your phone or calling/texting. It means putting a Do Not Disturb sign on the door of the room you are writing in. It means talking with the people in your house about respecting your writing time so you can complete your work. It perhaps even means finding somewhere else to do your work like the library or a coffee shop if you can’t be left in peace to write at home.

Write When the Fancy Hits You

Sometimes I’m just hit by an idea. I’m just doing something random and/or I see or hear something and I get an idea for a story or for a line to put in a story. Find a computer, your phone, paper or pen and scribble down your ideas. If you are really excited and have the time, then go start writing then. Often though, I don’t have time to dig deep into my idea, but it’s good to jot the basics down because it gives me something to go with the next time I do have time to write.

How to Clear Your Mind to Let the Writing Process Flow

So the best way to clear my mind is keeping it busy in the background during the time before I write, making sure I get enough sleep, staying away from the online world, hiding from people while I’m writing and scribbling down a good idea when it hits me. Happy writing!

By Miki Dare

writer and artist