It’s finally April, meaning spring, aka my favourite season of the year. It seems like spring is exploding everywhere around me, not to mention there are actually sunny days. *insert gasps & fervent hopes it will stay* I can’t believe my academic year is coming to an end soon, either…it felt so short!!
Lately, with so many things coming to a close, it feels like I’m finally starting to get the idea of writing from rest. It’s a mindset, a posture, a practice. And today, I’ll be talking a bit about how I try to keep this in my heart even when it gets dizzyingly busy.
So without further ado, let me present to you, AH–Writing From Rest.
But wait…what does “writing from rest” mean??
Good question! For me, it would mean:
/ˈrīdiNG – frəm – rest/
- Writing from a leisurely manner/state; creating from a space of rest
- the mindset of writing (as outlined above)
i) Sleeping earlier & waking up earlier.
Something that has greatly helped me in writing from rest is sleeping earlier and waking up earlier.
And before those of you who are not morning persons run away, hear me out:
I think that we can all agree that writing takes energy. The act of creating something out of distinct, arbitrary 26-letters is not something to be taken lightly of. I won’t pull out the research on the benefits of sleeping earlier or waking up earlier, but one thing I personally find is that it does help restore my creative energy.
In the morning, where nothing has really happened yet to clutter the mind or sap one’s energy, it becomes much easier to focus on my writing, and that only. Starting from a blank piece of paper, physically, mentally, and spiritually, can help you relax and let your imagination roam free.
> Practical steps to take:
- Go to bed 15~30 minutes earlier than you usually do. Turn off your phone 15~30 minutes before going to bed
- Set an alarm for 5~15 minutes earlier than you usually wake up
- Set out the clothes you are going to wear the next day by your bed. As soon as you wake up, take this to the washroom/wherever you go after waking up & get changed!
- Put the kettle on. Make yourself a cup of tea or simply hot water. Drinking something first thing in the morning lets your body know you’re awake!
ii) Setting up a morning routine.
Another thing that might be super controversial, but has helped me nevertheless, is having a solid morning routine. (Well, more or less solid…but later on this.)
When I say morning routine, don’t think you have to do what I do, or a set thing that another influencer might do. You do your own thing. Which, I think, is the whole point of having a morning routine–a set of things you do that helps you wake up refreshed & become ready to face a new day.
My morning routine looks more or less the following:
- Wake up & get changed
- Put the kettle on. (As advertised earlier!)
- Light a candle & do my morning devotions
- Listen to worship music & make breakfast/lunch to take to school
- Get ready for university!
> Practical steps to take:
- Brainstorm. What are some things that help you feel refreshed & energised in the morning? List out three of the things that help you do this.
- Make a plan. From the list of three things that help you in the morning, think of ways to make it even easier to do–for example, if you plan to run in the morning, can you get your running gears in place? If you plan to do devotions, maybe already have your Bible (& notebooks, or other resources) in an accessible place–like on your desk, by your bed, etc.
- Don’t be stressed. As I pointed out earlier, the whole point of having a morning routine is to help you feel refreshed & ready for the new day. Don’t feel like you’ve failed first thing in the morning even if you can’t follow along with your routine perfectly. They’re more like…guidelines in the first place! Feel free to change up the order, cut out some of the things, etc.
iii) Being okay with the day’s writing.
Lastly, be okay with the amount of writing you get done on that day. Maybe you wake up earlier and you are able to squeeze in a writing block in the morning. Maybe you’re like me and have to go somewhere, so the only writing block you get are the in-between times of classes, work, etc. Maybe you won’t have any time to write in the morning, OR later on.
But the important thing is–being okay with it. One of the most important things about writing from rest is having a calmer, rested mindset from where you create. It does not have to be a solid hour of writing with everything perfectly falling in place. It can be the five minutes of quick journaling, three minutes of working out in your head about a particular scene, or a minute of Pinterest scrolling. (Yes, don’t be so aghast that I just endorsed Pinterest scrolling. It’s called brainstorming!) Whatever you get to do on that day, it counts as writing as long as you are putting your mental energy into it. Just take a deep breath, turn off your phone for a bit, and let your creativity take place.
> Practical steps to take:
- Schedule a writing block. Find a time in your day that you can fit your writing into. Remember, it doesn’t have to be long!
- Plan to do one thing in that writing block. It can be simple as “make character profiles” or “write one paragraph”. Or, you can be more ambitious and set up wordcount goals. Just remember to be happy with what you get done!
- Write down your thoughts about that writing session. This also does not have to be long. It can be one sentence, like, “I’m happy with what I wrote!” or “I feel like I want to write more.” I keep my thoughts, progress, and goals in my writing journal, which you can read more about here: 3 Steps to Start a Writing Journal
And that’s it for today!
Thank you for reading! What did you think? Do you practise writing from rest? Are you a morning person (or want to be one)? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!