“…all writers have a unique voice and are compelled to write. It’s as simple as that.”
Lady Terry Robinson
I’m not exactly sure who Lady Terry Robinson is (www.thereseblogs.com), but I know she’s a seasoned writer. One of the joys of trolling the Internet is the odd bits of advice you come across that actually prove to be useful. In an amusing, but apt post, Lady Terry offered some sage tips, especially for those of us who are home-based writers:
Pull yourself together: “Get out of your sweatpants and fix your hair,” Lady Terry counsels — and based on my experience, she’s right. When you work at home, it’s easy to let yourself get almost too casual about how you dress and without even knowing it, this can affect the way you do your work. In my interviews with entrepreneurs, many of them stressed the importance of “feeling” professional even if they were operating their business out of a basement or a closet. When they “dressed for success” even at home, they felt and acted more successful. No need to go overboard here, but how you feel about how you look can affect how you feel about your work. Go figure.
Have fun: As Lady Terry observes, “Our best creative work happens when we are in flow, using our imaginations, having fun. Obviously there will come a point where we become hypercritical of our writing and believe we’ll never be the next e.e. Cummings, E.L. James or J.K. Rowling. But remember that’s only because the rest of us all have proper first names. There is a time for editing, a time for revising, a time for throwing most of our work in the trash, but there is also a time for play.” Wise words. Inviting fun and flow into our writing lives is one of the best ways to juice up our creativity. As Lady Terry points out, there is an ebb and flow to the writing process — a time to edit and revise, but also a time to experiment, discover, take risks, and play.
Keep writing: “We can all find excuses. My particular one is that I’m traveling so much. As they say, we can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. Frankly I just believe that we can’t fool ourselves for very long. Just get up earlier and write or stop talking about wanting to be a writer. Writers write. It’s as simple or as complicated as that.” Not much to add here. Whether we write at home, in an office, or fire up our computers at cafes, as writers, we need to write.
Create a congenial atmosphere: Lady Terry notes, “I love my vintage typewriter. Even though I use a laptop, just having it there as a prop sets a tone and a mood. Surrounding yourself with novels, books you love, bric a brac you treasure creates ambience.” How true! My tiny office is filled with many of my favorite books, little mementos, and inspiring quotes. Having all these around me helps put me in a contemplative, creative mood. A nourishing, supportive atmosphere can make writing more enjoyable.
“Finally, make sure you remember to enjoy writing and look to it with pleasure and not as if it’s a chore – that’s when the real magic happens.” Bravo, Lady Terry — write on!