Zany Ideas That Increase Writing Productivity And Quality
Welcome to the zany ideas of a productive writer. My students
keep reminding me of my unusual tools and how helpful they have
been for them. I also thank my students for their concept testing
and refinement. Now, I feel much more confidant about sending
them out into the world.
For the next few minutes let your imagination run amuck. Okay,
amuck is a little too far out there, so what about allowing an open
mind for the time being. Afterwards, you can let your mind
My office has a beautiful "u" shape ash wood desk that I'm proud
of. Partially due to its price and uniqueness. It is here, I handle my
emails, pay bills, read, coach, and edit there. Yet, I had difficulty
setting the ground work for my writing. Tasks like creating first
drafts, deciding on the major points, or creating a table of contents.
Because of this I usually seek another environment that sparks these
Probably like yourself, I found my best ideas arrive when I'm in the
shower, when I first wake, while driving, or while walking. Just to
name a few. Let's take a short side trip, I want to share with you
how I capture my thoughts during these light-bulb moments.
While walking I use a tape recorder on an adjustable camera strap
around my neck. Voice activation and the mike pointed up
towards your chin are musts. To start recording all you need to do
is tuck in your chin and begin speaking. I say my name first usually
because the first one or two words get lost while the recorder's
activation mode kicks on. Heavy breathing or puffing, since it goes
forward and not down, usually does not activate the recorder.
In the shower, I use a pen I purchased while visiting NASA in
Florida. It can write in extreme temperatures and underwater. A
grease pen works well if you don't mind writing large. It is also
cheaper. Add a diver's under water board and you're ready.
For driving, I use the same method as I do for my walks.
Normally the engine noise will activate the recorder if left on the
seat. That is, unless you have a car that is perfectly quiet inside.
Okay, side track over, back to zany ideas.
During the day I found myself playing musical chairs when writing.
At home and in the office. My lounge chair in my bedroom was
right for personal journaling. Early outside sunrises was for new
My living room recliner was good for brainstorming from reading.
For writing personal development topics, the left seat of the couch
next to a very large scenic picture window is the place. For long
how tos, it was the dining room table or a specific McDonalds. I
don't know if it was the smell of grease or the acoustics that lit a fire
under my pen.
The library and its smell of old books make me tired and snoozy.
Sometimes my mind felt too vibrant and jumpy with all the
possibilities and paths open to me.
Do you like to stare out the window? Me too! I have an awesome
view from my wall-to-wall office window. I use to think day
dreaming on a topic wasn't productive but have found the openness
feeling brings in expansiveness to my writings. As long as I'm not
sitting at my desk while staring.
What can you do when you need to spark the imagination and you
have already taken a shower? Do you take another? What about
driving? With gas prices jumping skyward who wants to drive just
to spark the creative bug.
Here are a few ideas on how to solve:
Buy a miniature waterfall to recreate the shower feel. Or use a
sound devices that imitates a rambling brook or rain. Place it
carefully where you want to fuel a particular type of muse. Turn it
on, close your eyes, and place yourself in the shower. Toss some
water on your face before hand if that helps. One of my clients,
turns on the shower, sits in the bathroom for a few minutes to kick
the process in, and then she moves to a chair.
Instead of driving, sit in the car with your left hand on the steering
wheel, close your eyes, and imagine the movement, holding a pen in
the right hand with paper balanced on your knee or on a board. If
you are returning home do this after you have parked. The
movement of the car will remain.
Some of these may be zany for you, some not. Spark your
imagination, try new and different things. Try them at least three or
four times and adapt to what feels right for that moment. Your
writing productivity and creativity is sure to double.
About the Author
Catherine Franz is a writing, life and business coach. Her articles have been appeared in thousands of magazines, books and newsletters on nonfiction writing, life and marketing. She writes three monthly newsletters and is a columnist.