While I definitely don’t have a step by step process for this writing business, I do know that certain things definitely help and I don’t mind sharing.
1. Be comfortable.
Try to get to a favorite place or maybe bring something that helps you relax. For me, it’s wrapping a blanket around me until I’m a burrito and having a hot cup of coffee or tea nearby. This will make me not want to get up any time soon, giving me the chance to write more.
2. Phone. No.
Some people would even say turning it off completely is best, but I don’t do that just yet. I might one day just to prove I can, but it wouldn’t be a habitual thing. Since I’m away at university in another country, I like having it on and nearby at pretty much all times. I never know when I’ll get a text from my parents, sisters, or friends across that ocean thing.
However I do see the need for putting the phone aside when it comes to attempting purposeful writing. So what I do is leave it on, but usually out of reach. That way I’ll still hear it if it goes off and know I have a message to check, and this will sometimes make me write more and faster so that I can get to it sooner.
This approach is personal preference really. I know some of my friends absolutely have to turn off their phones completely or the sound of a message will distract them from what they are trying to write. And that’s good too. If that way works better definitely do that instead. But either way the goal is to help resist the ‘need’ to check facebook after finishing each sentence you write. That does the opposite of manage your writing time efficiently. Trust me.
3. Give yourself a block of time.
I don’t mean set aside time to write. This is after that, once you’ve decided to write and you are opening up your computer or notebook to start.
I’ve found it very helpful to set a timer and then force myself to put one word after the other as quickly as possible for however long that time is (20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, etc.). It doesn’t matter if it makes sense, if it’s all over the place, or if sentences are choppy and completely disconnected. Just write. One of my teachers called it ‘Word vomit. Just word vomit all over the page.’ (I thought the term was appropriate since when I do this it probably looks like the equivalent in the world of words.) And don’t edit as you go.
The point of this, even though it’s not exactly pretty, is just getting as much on the page as possible. Then when you can go back and organize there is much more to work with, and sentences, thoughts, or ideas can always be deleted or left unused if deemed irrelevant or repetitive.