Writing is about flow.
Everything in life has a frequency and writing is no different. Have you ever driven behind someone on the freeway and noticed their speed increase and decrease? Have you payed attention to the way cars drift left to right ever so slightly? What about the way your emotions are stable one day but the weight of the world gets you the next? That’s life. A frequency of ups and downs.
I’ve discovered my writing flow. Knowing my ups and downs allows me to maximize my potential by starting and stopping during my highs and lows.
Understanding your flow can change how quickly you dish out your next book or complete your next task. Here’s how my writing style works: I begin by staring at my page, wondering, “How the hell am I going to get this going?” I can end this gaze of doom by doing one of two things:
- I listen to the theme song for the novel. (I always choose one theme song and use it to inspire me. For Barcode: New War Order the song(s) were Monster. One is by Kanye West and the other is by Paramore. For the one I’m writing now, Barcode: Eyes That Kill, I use Power by Kanye West. Sorry for you West haters, but his beats go perfectly with my dark theme).
- I reread the chapter to get a running start. That allows the ideas to snowball in my head and break out. **Boom** **Confetti**
That’s to start the flow, but to keep it going is the struggle. For me, I need to stop after each chapter or break and practically give myself a warm hug for the miraculous work I’ve done. I seriously compliment myself by thinking, “Damn! You’ve outdone yourself, sir.” Then, I walk around and reflect on the characters’ personalities and events. I try focusing on the character I know people will love the most. This creates another snowball effect that allows me to stay “in character” and continue to strengthen the strong point of that protagonist or antagonist.
The break only lasts one to five minutes. Within that time I can snack or release my bladder. Sometimes I even perform push-ups to keep my sexy figure in shape. (Writer’s belly is no bueno).
Most importantly, I cannot stop! The longer the break, the more I have to attempt to reestablish a connection with my characters. If I continue writing through the day, the characters feel more like themselves because I’m in the events with them, sharing their emotions.
Whether you’re a writer or not, you have a flow. The more you know about yourself, the stronger you will become. May the force be with you, young Anakin.