Writing and state management

Ideas fuel your writing, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.

To get something out, you need to put something in. Searching for the right ideas that you can bring together and hammer into shape. A finished piece.

In the classical sense, we might call this search for the right ideas the process of inspiration. But to make the idea of inspiration less mystical and elusive, we might also refer to it as attaining a certain mental state, through the practise of state management.

State management is the ability to put aside your current mental chatter and emotions and adopt different emotions, with a different stream of thought, to help you in your current circumstances. It’s extremely useful in working life, and massively helpful if you’re setting out on something creative and uncertain, like writing a novel.

Certain prompts can trigger the mental state you want, and allow you to manage and change your state. It could be a certain place you like to walk around, like a gallery or a store; or it could be a certain object, smell, sound or image. It could be a piece of music, or the thought of a wild place you love to be. Whatever prompts you to think more useful thoughts that focus you on your goal.

The same goes for managing your environment. If your home feels cluttered or dirty, you can bet it will have an impact on your state of mind. To write a novel you need mental control, and a good way to achieve that mental control is through controlling your environment – like tidying the house or moving your desk to a better spot. If you can manage the few feet of space around you, you’ll manage your mental state too.

State management is especially useful if your writing is hitting a brick wall and the ideas won’t come. Control and manage your physical environment, then search out the prompts that will trigger certain ideas and create your ideal mental state. Feed your brain with more ideas. Then write.

With the right state, you’ll see that the idea of writer’s block is a myth. You only need to control your mental diet and increase the right ideas flowing into your mind.

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