Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My (So-called) Writing Tips

I heard about a software called OMMWRITER for Mac computers months ago. It's one of the writing software available to download for free on the cyberspace. When the first time I heard of it, I was truly excited and welcomed the Windows version to my laptop.

Somehow, it turns out to be quite disappointment. All I see is a screen with space to type, continuous absurd sounds like rain, classical song, and changeable template. I was thinking, "what is it for?" I asked my friend, an author, who used it to write his book. He said that the use of it was to maintain your mood and concentration to keep on writing. "It helps you to focus," he told me.

I do believe the hardest thing to keep in writing is your mood (besides is to keep the idea in mind for a forgetful person like me). But lately, I just figure out (odd) ways to keep the good mood.

1. Zadie Smith is right. We need our attention out of internet access and crowd. So, what we could do is get a place like your own bedroom or, if you wanna go out, find a good cafe or coffee shop. I do mostly well on coffee shop, but what's best? Bathroom! Yes... I do mean it. At least, standing and doing nothing does work for me.

Find somewhere nice. A good cafe with cute and fresh architecture. Inspiring! Try like Social House, GrandIndonesia, in Jakarta. Get the seat by the window with HI fountain view and standby by from 11am. Or else, try eccentric museum!

2. Write along with your favorite songs, which also go with your current writing mood. It happens most of the time that I would be very comfortable listening along with some weird song, (others might call it weird, I don't really see it that way), like Roslyn by Bon Iver, Poker Face cover by Marcela Mangabeira, and Kings of Convenience (the whole album). Just don't play in high tune as you might end up singing and not writing.

The songs I feel comfortable with will be playing all way around. I just click on 'Repeat' button and it keeps playing till morning. My family who might visit in my 'secret laboratory' (read: bedroom) will notice that iTunes or old Winamp plays the same song all the time. "Don't you have any other songs to listen to?" they might complain. Who cares of what they say. What's so important? That song keeps my good mood to have my full concentration. And make sure to stay away from such family disturbia. I did listen to Heartbreak Warfare by John Mayer for 12hours non-stop.

3. Make sure if you have a nice air to breathe. Aromatherapy works best in giving you something new in your bedroom. Fresh atmosphere. Nice, isn't it? No need to go somewhere far to get your mood sets and gain inspiration.

Try Lavender, Rose, Jasmine, or Opium. They smell very nice and refreshing. The aromatherapy makes you relax and there, you can start focus on your writing. 

4. Got stuck? Calm down, grab some hot drink, like tea or coffee, something with caffeine. It works wonderfully amazing to your brain. Try to distract your mind for awhile and enjoy view at your surrounding. Start browsing for updated news, play some quick games online (Diner Dash, Scrabble, WordGame... Facebook games, anyone?), or freshen your mind by seeing cute photos on flickr.

Maybe you can also stand up and exercise a bit. Your body might be stiff of sitting before your computer and not moving that much. In this kind of moment, I often distract myself by cooking instant noodles! I do get my inspiration back when I'm waiting the water to boil in the kitchen. Aha!

5. Write on your best condition! Write like you're going out for a date. But I don't mean that you have to dress up just to write. What I'm trying to say is to write at your comfortable condition such as your sitting position, wear something you feel nice, and do your hair neat.

Don't write on your bad hair day! I don't know why, but this is kinda affecting your writing mood. It's like good shoes you're wearing while you're going for a walk in shopping mall. Good tips: Wash your hair and be fresh! Nice hair makes you sexy, isn't it? Especially when it's half-wet. Wear anything you like to. Even you're at home and you really wanna wear a short sexy gown or even bikinis. Oh, yes, I did. And gladly, it worked out! Nuff said.

6. Don't bother to have a bowl of cookie bites, chips (like Pringles), etc on your table, beside your laptop, or anywhere else, not far from your arm level. Make it grab-able. It reduces your stress when you're stuck or confused in the middle of the process.

7. Lastly, watch some movies and try to pick up some issue or discuss about it. It's always inspiring... Talking and figuring something out kinda helps your brain to work like in procrastination. There, an idea will come.

Happy writing!

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