You need help: I write best in the shower

One of my favorite entrepreneurs, Arlan Hamilton explains in her book, About Damn Time (affiliate), how important it is to spend time away from the desk.

Many brilliant writers and authors have emphasized how good ideas, even great ideas, rarely happen during a specific “writing time”. Expecting every idea to flow flawlessly through your hands to the page whenever you sit down to write is a fools errand.

Here are a few places where I get my best writing ideas, and what I do when I have them.

Specify non-writing time

This is an important part of this strategy, I have a personal pep talk with my brain and let myself know this is not a time when I want to be sitting and writing, my brain is on a break and I am not trying to write.

Go for a walk

Many times in the quiet while I walk through my neighborhood, my body and mind are both engaged in the activity, so it gets easier to think of topics to write about. When I inevitably have an idea, I’ll record a voice memo for myself or dictate an idea into the notes app on my phone. I usually just need a bullet point or two to remember the subject, but in some cases a voice memo can help me better flesh out my words.

Vacuum and cleaning the house

Call me silly, but I realized the other day with my headphones on while vacuuming and sweeping my house that my brain was quiet and had lots of ideas for writing. I kept a to-do list on my laptop in motion (purchase my webinar here that teaches you how I use notion to stay organized), and then every time I had an idea I either added it by app on my phone or by swinging by my laptop to write it down. I intentionally did not sit to write down an entire article or idea, but only to make a note so I could come back at a better time.

Writing in the shower

I have yet to act on this habit outside of dictating into a voice note or recording a voice memo, but in the shower is another great time to write. I would love to eventually have waterproof sticky notes or mount a whiteboard in the shower to write ideas and notes i have, or have a waterproof phone case mounted to the shower wall. I have a lot of important thoughts while listening to podcasts and showering, and they are many times an idea or topic I’m planning to write about.

Hire a friend

something that blew my mind the other day was as I was listening again to Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic (affiliate) and she described Brené Brown’s process for writing a book that had her stumped. Enlisting her friends to come on a writing retreat with her, Brené asked her friends to take notes while she verbally processed ideas and chapters for her book.

she would then collect the notes and take them to write out the next section of her book, versus sitting at her desk, alone, and frustrated. Ask your friends and community for help if you write better via speaking and have them share their notes afterwards!

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Liz Brinks

Liz Brinks

Hey, I’m Liz Brinks (they/them) I’m a queer gender-non-conforming writer, business coach & cat-parent (@itsjuustliz everywhere) based out of Wisconsin!