How To Improve Your Novel Without Writing it

 1. Go for a Jog.

No really, you should. Even though it is sort of built into the stereotype of writers that we should never get out-and let alone even think about being fit-perhaps it is time that you ignore that stereotype for the sake of your writing quality.

According to a study by journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, people who exercise regularly do far better on tests of creativity than those who do not exercise. More creativity means more writing ideas, so getting into shape and exercising regularly might just be the final ingredient in making your novels shine.

2. Unplug the Internet.

In the famous words of an unknown writer, “Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the Internet,” and it could not be more true. How often do you go on the internet for some research or to find a song, then suddenly find that an hour has past and you are suddenly on facebook or twitter without even knowing you did so?

There are two ways I know of that authors keep from getting lost in the internet jungle, and they are by using a timer, or by setting a specific day for research.

What this means is if you need to research something, you set a timer for say…15min, and once that timer is done, abort your internet mission, and unplug.

The other way is to write down everything you need to research in a note, like “research rules of jousting,” for example. Then, on whatever day of the week you set to be “research day” you look up everything you need to know for the rest of the week. The rest of the time, your internet is turned off.

3. Travel.

All throughout history there has been tales of writers traveling to exotic and strange places before writing their best seller, and apparently they were on to something. According to a study done by Northwestern University in Chicago , and also by INSEAD, traveling does in fact boost creativity.

Perhaps, seeing things that are done the same as in your normal lifestyle makes us open our minds to different ideas.

4. Write down Ideas.

Have you ever come up with a great idea only to forget it before you get home? Or woken up after having a great dream that you just know would make an interesting story, only to forget it by the time you make your breakfast? Well destroy that habit. Write down all ideas, all of them; even the bad ones. Reading over notes is sometimes just what you need to inspire more writing, so keep a journal, or type it out on your phone, but do take notes.

5. Read.

Reading and letting our minds wander off into another world is sometimes just what you need. It is as if your imagination is carrying you away on an exciting adventure, and sometimes that is all that is needed to tickle your creativity awake.

6. Meditate.

According to a study by Leiden University, Open Monitoring Meditation– which means you are meditating while the mind is aware of all thoughts without focusing attention on any particular concept or object- did show a large increase in creativity in those who practiced it.

However, if sitting on the floor and closing your eyes is not your thing, some studies also show that drawing is also a form of meditation, so perhaps picking up your pencil and drawing the castle in your novel is just what you need.

7. Kill Stress.

According to countless studies(no seriously, google it, there are hundreds) stress is a horrible creativity eater.

Think of it as a black hole that follows you around, sucking away any urges to create that you may have. So, what can you do? Well, the only thing you can do to fix this is by eliminating your stress. This could be by solving the problem of whatever is stressing you, or realizing that there are other ways to cope with building stress, such as exercise, hanging with friends, and more.

8.Sleep on It.

Turns out your grandma was right! Telling people dealing with a problem to go “sleep on it” is actually smart!

According to a study by Harvard Medical School, out of those who were told to imagine their problems before going to sleep, over half had dreams that addressed their problem.


Study Links:

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