How do you get in the zone when it comes to settling down to work on a project? I'm sharing my top tips for getting hunkered down and putting words on a page!
I'm a morning person.
No matter when my alarm's set for, my body clock wakes me up at half six, and I usually find it near impossible to get back to sleep. So it seems silly to waste all that early morning energy.
Sometimes I sit myself at my desk and start writing in a bit of a frenzy - letting the words just flow, no matter how much crap there seems to be - and sometimes I'll curl up on the sofa with a book and do some research, scribbling in the margins with a pencil.
The other half doesn't quite get it, primarily because he's never exactly struggled with sleeping in, but it feels great to start the day knowing that I've managed to tick a load of things off my to do list!
I'm not very good at working in silence. If I'm working at home, more often than not the F1 or the football is on in the background; white noise that doesn't properly penetrate my mind as I work. But other times, if I really need to settle and spoken words are going to distract me, then I turn to music.
Recently I've discovered that classical music works really well - but only classical music that I know really well. The sort of thing that then drifts through my mind without breaking my concentration. not wishing to leave anything to chance, I've created a playlist on iTunes that's full of the composers that I studied in both my GCSE and A Level Music classes, with a little Faure and Poulenc thrown in for good measure.
With my current wip, I listen to The Nutcracker on repeat; my opening is during a dress rehearsal of the ballet in a theatre and it helps me to fully embed myself in my setting.
Podcasts and Radio Dramas
But not all of the work I do demands the kind of concentration that writing or editing does. In my day job I deal with data, and with PHS - and with this website - a lot of the work I do comprises of working on web layouts, creating blog titles and images, and playing around in Adobe.
That kind of work allows me to listen to words without any issue. So what do I listen to?
I've followed Wittertainment (Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode's weekly film podcast) for over ten years, so that's always very entertaining, and I've also got a soft spot for funny radio dramas. From the radio adaptations of Dad's Army to Andy Hamilton's brilliant Revolting People, and even the odd Jeeves and Wooster audiobook on occasion - if it makes me laugh, I'll listen to it!
How do you get yourself into the zone? Share your tips and advice with me in the comments!