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    Visit the Writing Zone and Turn Your Scribbles into Prose

    Dorothea Brande once wrote, "if your resistance is actually greater than your desire to write, then you may as well find some other outlet for your energy early as late."

    Fine words and sound advise, but I write regularly at 4am, what am I supposed to do when the wife wakes up at this time and invites me to copulate? Bloody copulate that's what I do, because it doesn't happen that often.

    And it did not happen this morning, so here I am, bathed in the spill of light from my PC monitor wearing only tracksuit bottoms, T-shirt and jumper to ward off the early morning chill. The cat is scratching frantically at the back door wanting to come in from outside and the baby is stirring upstairs. Well, the cat will have to wait until 6am when I finish writing and the wife will take care of the baby -- because I'm in the writing zone!

    Now before I get flamed for being male chauvinistic, or something worse, read on.

    The writing zone is a push-button state that primes me to write at a given moment in time, free from distractions. So how is this zone accessed? Does it just happen or do you need a lift to take you there? Like most things in life, nothing is ever that simple. The zone is a state of mind brought about by fundamental preparation, gritted determination and training.

    Because I write early in the day I must sit down the night before, usually with a glass of wine to shed the daily baggage from my mind, and prepare notes which I will use to reference at 4am the next day. Often I do this prior to going to bed, so it is on my mind as I drift of to sleep. I would also tell the wife my intentions, though after seven years she knows my routine well. This does two things: firstly she will deal with any emergencies that arise during the period 4am to 6pm -- not that many do. Secondly, the understanding stops me feeling guilty, thus distracting me from my goal; this contract is always reciprocated in some way.

    On average I type 1000 words per hour and because my fingers are dyslectic, I spend fifteen minutes using the spell-checker afterwards. To achieve this output I prepare a handwritten A4 sheet with introductory paragraph and bullet points for each phase. Take this article for example:

    INTRO: Dorothea Brande once wrote, "if your resistance is actually greater than your desire to write, then you may as well find some other outlet for your energy early as late."

    =>What's happening when I'm in the zone?
    =>A given moment in time.
    =>Preparation
    =>Example
    =>Gritted Determination
    =>Obstacles.
    =>Kick Start Your Imagination.
    =>Writing Excercise.

    END: Persevere with this routine until you write fluently at will. When this happens, you will truly be in the writing zone and your scribble will turn to prose.

    You must decide for yourself if this approach to writing is for you, but however you prime yourself and whenever you choose to write, write!

    Be warned that many obstacles will be placed before you which you must face with gritted determination. Some everyday obstacles will arise for which you will need the support of family, even if it is-just the knowledge that they leave you alone at a given time and let no one distract or interrupt you for any reason.

    There will also be peer and work pressures. Its no good talking to a friend and promising to make up the time latter, it just won't happen; never listen to the plausible excuses of your inner voice and never let friends or family delay you. If the phone rings ignore it -- better still divert all calls -- and if someone knocks on the door, ignore that too. You owe it to yourself to be writing.

    Whatever hour you have chosen to write you must be there, and you must be writing.

    If you live a laissez faire lifestyle or are new to writing, you will need to get used to a more structured routine. A good exercise to try is this. Rise an hour or half-hour before you customarily rise. Immediately start to write, trying to write continually for the allocated period. If you find yourself hesitating, write the Lord's prayer or Kick Start Your Imagination.

    Always count the words you have written, but never read them otherwise you will be disillusioned if the quality of your output is poor. Once you are writing fluently at will you can always return to browse through your work.

    After several weeks of this routine the aches will go from various parts of your body, the quality of your writing will improve and so will the quantity.

    Try this for one month then during the second, vary the hour that you write, Try writing immediately after work, during a work break or when the family is watching TV.

    As Dorothea Brande so eloquently points out on page 72 of her book, Becoming A Writer: "There is a deep inner resistance to writing which is likely to emerge at this point (extension of the excercise). This will begin to 'look like business' to the unconscious, and the unconscious does not like these rules and regulations until it is well broken in to them; it is incorrigibly lazy in its busyness and given to finding the easiest way of satisfying itself."

    If you persevere with this routine and find ways to constantly thwart your unconsciousness, you will be rewarded and begin to write fluently at will. When this happens, you will truly be in the writing zone and your scribble will turn to prose.

    Copyright © 2000 Gary Crucefix

    Gary Crucefix is the founding editor of Fiction House. Email: editor@fictionhouse.com. Fiction House is a guide to writing and getting published, designed to put you in touch with what's new and exciting in Fiction throughout the Internet. Every month we guarantee to supply you with more proven, practical and profitable leads than you'll know what to do with.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

    Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from Amazon.com and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)

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