Everyone’s creative and or academic process is different. As such, there’s no method that’s going to fit everyone in the same way. As such, the advice that I’m about to give may not be beneficial for everyone. But there is one thing that has helped me when it comes to trying to make progress on my creative works, or anything really, is that I like to write down what I need on paper.
When it comes to my novel, or any sort of creative writing, I find that writing down anything and everything on paper. When creating my characters for my novel, I wrote every main character and made a web of how they were connected. Then I added side characters and then minor characters, weaving them into my “relationship web”. This is something that I will likely write about in the future. Anyway, writing this down on a physical sheet of paper did a lot to keep me focused. I did the same for when I wrote an outline and a timeline. But the main way that this has helped me is when actually writing down the story itself on paper.
I used to prefer typing my stories out over physically writing it down. I used to think that I had more control over my writing when I typed. And honestly, I did; that was my problem. I was able to easily delete sections that I liked, copy and paste sections I did like from past drafts and spell check right then and there. This hindered my progress in finishing my story. I focused on minute and irrelevant issues. But when I wrote in a journal, I tended to focus on the “meat” of the story.
There are several reasons why I have come to prefer paper over computer. For one, the screen tends to be a distraction on its own. There are various articles that talk about the detriment to looking into a screen for too long. For me, it hurts my eyes and gives me a headache. These issues would naturally do a lot to hinder my creative process. Another issue is that with being on the computer comes the likelihood of being distracted by the internet and various apps on my computer. No matter how many times I tell myself to shut off the wifi, I always manage to convince myself that I’ll need it.
Over all, writing on paper has a different feel. It almost does more to feel more creative when I write down in a notebook. It’s also more portable for me, so I’m not tied to only bing able to write at one particular time.