It’s that time again.
Time go go absolutely mad crazy writing every word you can squeeze out for 30 days until you finally collapse, puffing, on top of your keyboard with a 50,000-word rough draft manuscript to show for it.
Writers, we live for this.
At first, this was limited to fiction writers with #NaNoWriMo. Then, author coach and 9x Amazon bestseller Nina Amir introduced #NaNonFiWriMo, or National Nonfiction Writing Month, tailored for those of us working on memoirs, cookbooks, how-to books, political books, even essays and articles. No nonfiction is excluded! All authors are welcome.
Each year, she brings together experts and bestselling authors and releases a companion ebook on a topic that has been popular on the #NaNonFiWriMo discussion boards. This year’s book is a great one, all about breaking through that dreaded ailment commonly referred to as “writer’s block,” where you feel hopelessly stuck and uncreative in the moment where you most need to be in the flow and producing like a pro.
THE WRITE NONFICTION NOW! GUIDE TO CREATIVITY AND FLOW is designed to help you break through writer’s block, tap into your creative muse, and get in the flow with tips and tricks from experts in book writing, genius thinking, the psychology of creativity, and high performance.
This guide features:
—Hacks to turn on creativity and flow at will
—Ways to block out distraction so you can write
—Tips to help you get unblocked and start writing again
—How to cultivate Flowmentum™
—High-performance writing tips to sustain creativity, flow, and productivity
—Writing rituals to invoke your muse and bolster your creativity
Here’s a brief excerpt:
10 Hacks to Turn on Creativity and Flow at Will
By: Nina Amir
Imagine this: You sit down at the computer each day, put your fingers on the keyboard, and pause. Shazam! Inspiration hits, and your fingers begin to move across the keys faster than you thought possible. Words, sentences, and paragraphs form on the screen in front of you. Several hours later you emerge from the “zone,” take a deep breath, and leave your work for the day.
That might be how you imagine the writer’s life, but many writers struggle to get the first word, sentence, or page written. They force themselves to stay at their desks for hours, all the while hoping to produce at least one or two usable manuscript pages.
And sometimes they don’t write or produce anything worth keeping.
You can create the writing life you imagined—filled with creativity, flow, and productivity. It’s possible. Really, it is.
You just need to know how to turn on your creativity at will.
The following 10 creativity hacks will help you get in the flow faster than you thought possible.
1. Allow Light Bulb Moments
Sit in a dark room. Give your eyes and mind a break from all the distractions. Daydream. Meditate. Nap. Then open your eyes, and allow your mind to play with ideas . . . or your need for an idea. Wait for the light bulb to turn on. Close your eyes again if necessary.
2. Spin Ideas
If you have one book idea right now, consider spin-off ideas or titles you might develop in the future. For instance, if you want to write a book on container gardening, maybe you could write another on tomato container gardening, deck container gardening, and indoor container gardening. If you want to write a thriller, think of the series potential for the book and brainstorm about stories that feature secondary characters. You can spin one article idea into several pieces—or even a book—in the same way.
3. Track Wet Ideas
Research shows that you’re more likely to have a creative epiphany when performing a monotonous task, like showering. As you do something mindless, your brain switches to autopilot, which allows your subconscious to work on other things. It plays a game of free association.
Given that you are likely to have great “wet” ideas, you want to keep track of them. Write them down immediately after you get out of the tub or shower. Or, better yet, purchase a product like Aqua Notes, a waterproof notepad you can hang in your shower!
4. Write Down Nightlight Ideas
When you lie down in bed at night, your brain rests for a few moments before you fall asleep. With nothing else to distract it, your subconscious ideas and thoughts bubble up to the surface.
However, if the light bulb goes on just before you fall asleep, one of two things typically happens:
1. You fall asleep and don’t remember the idea in the morning, which is really annoying.
2. The idea keeps you awake for hours.
Solve this problem by putting an idea journal next to your bed. Jot down nightlight ideas. As with dreams, sometimes writing down your ideas before you go back to sleep can help you remember them more easily in the morning. When you wake up, make sense of what you wrote.
5. Use Competition Creatively
Exploring competing or complementary works sparks ideas and creativity. When you see what other writers have done well—or not so well—you get ideas about how to improve your project, provide more benefit to your readers, and produce something unique and necessary in a category or market.
6. Start a Side Project
Feeling uncreative? Turn your attention to something else.
Research proves that side projects make you more creative and productive. So seek out meaningful leisure activities that support your personal growth and development.
Side projects and hobbies provide a creative and fulfilling version of downtime that rejuvenates your writing.
Do you have a side project or creative hobby? If not, find one! It does not need to relate to your work, nor does it need to earn money. You might garden, take photographs, or build birdhouses, for example.
7. Focus on Serving Others
You may have heard the advice “Write for your readers, not for yourself.” This doesn’t just help sell your work but also aids you in producing the most creative work. If you focus your writing project on how it serves others, you’ll increase your creative capacity.
Research has proven that if you think your work will be used by someone else, you develop more unique ideas. On the other hand, if you believe you are the only one who will use the end product, you have fewer unique ideas.
As you think about your writing project, consider how others will use, enjoy, and incorporate what you’ve written into their lives.
8. Take the Path of Most Resistance
The path of least resistance is enticing. I understand. We want easy.
However, if you want to become more creative, switch your attitude and jump on the path of most resistance.
Research shows that most of us naturally build on older or existing concepts when we create something new or brainstorm. This can lead to fewer creative ideas. You will design more creative ideas when you place restrictions on yourself while creating. Send your brain into overdrive, and prevent yourself from relying on past successes as the foundation of your current projects.
Try limiting the nature of a writing task. For example, if your essays are always based on your own experiences, branch out by exploring someone else’s. If you’ve only written 1,000-word magazine articles, produce some 250- to 300-word short pieces. If you normally write your books “off the top of your head,” employ interviews with or anecdotes from other people. Or push yourself to use more creative words, specific words, or a certain type of sentence structure.
9. Write to Music
Certain types of music boost creativity and focus by stimulating the part of the brain that controls motor skills, emotions, and creativity. If you want to turn up your creativity, turn up the music while you work.
Jamming to your favorite upbeat songs may give your creativity a jolt. However, you might need something more soothing. Try out different songs and styles, and note which ones inspire you most. Also bear in mind the “Mozart Effect.” Studies have shown that listening to Mozart’s music increases creativity, clarity, concentration, and other cognitive functions. Music from the baroque tradition stimulates creativity as well.
Turn on some music. See how it affects your creativity and ability to write.
10. Use Pen and Paper
If you aren’t feeling as creative as you’d like, turn off your computer and pick up a pad of paper and a pen. Write a book chapter, essay, article, or blog post by hand.
Carrie Barron, MD, and Alton Barron, MD, authors of The Creativity Cure, suggest that writing by hand enhances creativity. Maybe the key lies in the experience of writing by hand—the feel of the pen in your hand, the smell of the ink or the new notebook. Whatever the secret, you’ll find that doing so helps you get into a creative flow.
Give one or more of the creativity hacks listed above a try. See if you don’t find yourself with more ideas and a greater ability to be creative on demand.
That was 1 of 16 chapters in the new guide, and if you liked it, you’re in luck. IT’S FREE TODAY ON KINDLE! If you miss out, don’t worry. It’ll be on sale throughout November for $1.99 on Amazon before going up to its normal price. And to further help you in your #NaNonFiWriMo efforts, the rest of the guides in the series will be 99¢ for all of November. These guides inform and motivate authors, businesspeople, and even non-writers to use their purpose and passion to create desirable and publishable products, and we’re looking to give you a boost during this hectic month (so hopefully we can get some amazing submissions later).