Welcome to our seven-day journey to better writing. Your journey begins with exercises to increase your creativeness and daily writing habits, followed by resources to improve your current writing, and ends with how to publish. Today we’ll discuss how you can become more focused and creative in order to prepare for a writing session.

 

Reduce Your Stress

Ever sit down to write and just end up starting blankly into space? Common as it is, writer’s block is not a pleasant thing, but the good news is that it’s easily rectified. Below are several ways you can calm your mind to let creativity back in.

 

Meditate

Mediation is quickly becoming a popular method for relieving stressors and letting ideas flow. Famous entrepreneur and tech mogul Steve Jobs was famous for his meditation. In fact, if he hadn’t founded Apple, he would’ve become a Buddhist monk. The essence of meditation is that you focus solely on your breathing, letting all extraneous thoughts go. While there are an abundance of apps, blogs, etc. with guided mediations, a good app to start with is Head Space.

 

Read

These days, there are a lot of excuses not to read. Too much work, too many kid activities, etc. You know what many of the billionaires in the world have in common? They read. Not only does reading free your mind from the racing thoughts of the day, but by consuming other peoples’ ideas, you expand the range of your ideas. I challenge you to read at least 30 minutes every day and not think of a new idea for a blog entry!

 

Keep a Journal

If you’ve never journaled before, start by forcing yourself to write for five minutes a day; right before bed is usually a great time. Write about what you did that day and how you felt. What pissed you off or made you jump for joy? Over time, you’ll start tracking ideas and thoughts you’ve had which you can review at any time in the future. Moleskine journals are a classic component of the writer’s toolbox.

 

Take a Creative Challenge

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Noah Scalin, the creator of Skull-A-Day, present twice, both times speaking about how living in a tech-driven world has reduced creativity. As a way of compensating, Noah has created #CreativeSprint, a 30-day email challenge that forces you to be creative every day for a month regardless of where you are. He also created a companion book that will challenge you to be creative every day of the year.

 

Becoming more creative is your first step to becoming a better writer. The next step, presented in Day 2, is just writing. See you tomorrow!