Learning to get into the writing zone

Before, I talked about left and right brain roles for writing. Left brain is more analytical, right brain is more creative. For some people, it's very difficult to switch between the two completely. Usually when I switch from analytical to creative, I'm not 100% into my creative mode--there are vestiges of analytical thinking going on.

That's why for some writers it's difficult to be as creative when you switch between editing and writing, editing and writing. The analytical side--editing--doesn't fully relinquish brain energy to the creative side for writing.

However, switching quickly--and more importantly, more completely--between sides can be trained, to an extent. This is especially important for busy writers who juggle different duties and tasks.

Set an alarm clock (your watch alarm, phone alarm, PDA alarm) at odd hours during the day. When that alarm goes off, drop everything and write for 8 minutes. Grab whatever's handy--pen and paper, computer, word processor. Immerse yourself in some scene in your current WIP.

It will be really hard, at first. If you have to write nonsense or the same words over and over, then just do it. But eventually you'll shift into right-brain creativity. And the more often you do it, the faster you'll be able to automatically switch.

Something to note: Some writers switch very easily between left and right brain modes. These are typically writers who edit as they write, and going completely into right brain mode sometimes will not enable them to write any faster or better than if they edit as they go. As a writer, you need to figure out what method works best for you.