Getting to your happy place

I wish I could’ve told the younger me that the secret to good, fast, effective writing has nothing to do with my ability to command the rhythm of a sentence, find the ideal word or conjure up that exact perfect writing moment when it all just clicks. Nope. The secret is getting my brain in the right place.

So many times we writers struggle with perfection, and that becomes a stumbling block. But see, good writing isn’t perfect. In fact, the less perfect it is, the better, because it is less contrived and more readable.

When we can let go of ourselves and let the writing take over, things magically happen. Worlds are created. Walls tumble. The subconscious zings about, unleashing its fury and beauty through literary creation. Boom: there’s your realistic dialogue. Boom: there’s your soul-drenched scene. Boom: there’s that great plot twist.

Just like that.

Get me out of the way, and let creation take center stage.

The key is confidence, plus whatever technique you prefer to get your brain to let go. When I approach writing today, when I sit down in my chair and center myself, there’s no question I’ll be producing work. There’s no “oh, I hope I can get this article done” or “I wonder how this scene will unfold between these characters.” Instead, I sit down at my computer with the expectation that when I rise an hour or three later, good writing will be there.

More than that, I use my own private, spiritual technique to free my brain: prayer. I’m a believer, so I pray before I write. I just ask God to take command and let whatever I produce be to His glory. In doing so, I free my mind, and I turn it over to the divine.

If that’s not your cup of tea, you can do some deep belly-breathing, rock out to really loud and consuming music, turn out all the lights—whatever gets you gone.

Just get to your happy place, and let the writing take it from there.