Below is my list of seven tips to reach your own writing Zen.
3. Keep an idea/inspiration Journal – Target and various Dollar stores often keep stacks of pocket/purse sized notebooks on sale for $1. Treat yourself to a couple and keep them for those frequent times you “feel” something and don’t have time to explore them completely. This way you’ll remember the ideas, quotes, lyrics when you find yourself unable to sleep or hit with a case of writer’s block. Become your own best source of inspiration.
4. Create a Swipe file/cabinet – Eventually you will fill up your creative Journals and then what? All of those unfinished or unpublished works should be kept in one place for you to draw out when the time is right. Here is an example of mine. http://writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/2010/10/art-of-chaos.html
5. Forget Form/Function – Your rough draft is just for you. Don’t worry about a title, spelling, grammar, number of words, creating the attention grabbing hook or the memorable ending. The first pass is just to get your ideas down. You’re setting the bones.
6. Rewrite – This is where you flesh out the story. Now that you have your ideas down, begin consulting your inner editor to make the piece shine. Make sure your beginning introduces the theme as well as hooks the reader’s interest. By the time you reach the end again, be certain all loose ends have been concluded. This is also where you decide if your title accurately portrays your work or if you should change it to fit.
7. Final Pass – Sometimes it helps to get away from your work for a while before you attempt this step. A break will help you attain objectivity. Check your balance and length. You’ll need to know the publishers guidelines to make sure you meet these qualifications. This is when you edit each sentence. Check your grammar and spelling. It helps to read your work aloud. Our ears can catch mistakes out eyes miss.
Zen writing means writing with a calm and unified mind. Most writing problems are based on conflict between the Creator and the Editor within. When you keep these two aspects of writing separate, it will boost your creativity and bring ease as well as success to your writing.