Episode 3 Out now!

Episode 3 Out now!

Hey everyone! This episode is about the tools I use to write, including some of the software I've tried over the years and what I use now to get my writing done.


Remember, if you enjoy listening to this podcast and would like to help out, then it would mean a lot to me if you’d head over to staffordcolton.com/thewriteshift, hit the Become a Patron button and donate a few dollars to help me create new content each month.


PAGES - A Simple Productivity Enhancement

PAGES - A Simple Productivity Enhancement

If you've been navigating writing circles in the last few years it would be difficult to avoid the mention of Julia Cameron's "Morning Pages" Technique, especially if you’ve listened to Episode 2 of The Write Shift where even I mention it.

Put basically, the practice of “Morning Pages” is where every morning, you take out journal and write out three pages in longhand. On these pages you can put anything you want, anything at all.

Need coffee? Put it in. Neighbourhood kids poking fun at your dog? Put it in. Worrying if that salami in the fridge you bought five weeks ago is too old to eat? Put it in.

The idea here is to clear the decks so to speak. Getting all the negative, worrisome shit out of your head and onto the page is an easy form of catharsis that can provide sharp relief from all the niggling little issues stopping you from blasting pure awesome out into the universe.

Julia cameron suggests that you should do it first thing in the morning, before you start anything.

Get up, open journal, write.

Which sounds awesome in practice, and if you can consistently do it then great, but for the rest of us it can become a burden that only adds to the stress of you attempting to keep up with your journalling.

This is why I use a self-modified form of the “Morning Pages” practice which removes the stress of not writing in your journal, either intentionally or unintentionally.

I call this modification, simply, Pages

So as you may have already guessed (honestly, if you hadn’t I’d be concerned) it is the same practice, but just drops the morning component of “Morning Pages”.

I found that attempting to do “Morning Pages” in the morning when I have a full-time job was a struggle. By that I mean I would drive into work, get a coffee, finally sit down to write in my journal but the noise of the day had already started and ruined my flow.

Now some people may just say “Pffft… just get up earlier and do it”. Clearly those people don’t understand how much I love to get up as late as I can afford in the mornings, those moments between asleep and ‘Fuck, I have to go to work’ are few, and precious my friends.

So I devised a better method, one that allows me to fit it into a busy schedule, and it feels much more successful than “Morning Pages” ever was.

See, the trick to Pages is to do it just before any creative work.

The problem I find with Julia’s technique is that by the time I would be doing any creative work, a whole day may go by, filling my brain with all the stresses, anxieties, worries and more that the modern day can bring.

With my Pages method, anytime I have a chance to do some creative work, I’ll nail out one to three pages of longhand in a journal… yep you heard me right, one to three, because sometimes I don’t have three whole pages of stuff occupying my brain.

I’ve been doing this for the past few months and have noticed an immense change to my creative habits.

Once I’ve hammered out the shit in my mind on the page just before creating I’ve found significantly more focus, more energy, more drive, and most importantly for writing… MORE SPEED

Here’s a few key things to remember if you want to use my Pages method.

  • Find some time to do something creative.
  • Just before you do your creative thing, open your journal.
  • Write 1 - 3 pages in longhand format, who cares if you can’t fill three pages.
  • Close your journal.
  • Create your shiny unicorn brains out.

And that’s it, pretty simple really.

Eight Great Podcasts For You To Listen To

Eight Great Podcasts For You To Listen To

With the resurgence of podcasting in the last few years, a slew of amazing shows have become available that I love and want to share with everyone. 

Here are eight of my most favourite podcasts that I'd suggest everyone listen to.

What I'm Reading - November 11, 2016

What I'm Reading - November 11, 2016

Recently I've been asked what I'm reading but quite a number of people, so I figure I should probably do a regular post on what I'm reading. As you can probably see, this month is a bit of a mixed bag. 

Space-Western-Comedy Work In Progress... er, thing.

Space-Western-Comedy Work In Progress... er, thing.

In an effort to keep the content fresh around these parts, below is an excerpt from a recent space-western-comedy-thing I've been working on.

This chapter was written while I was travelling between Amsterdam and Berlin by train earlier this year.

What Motivates Me To Write?

What Motivates Me To Write?

I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. What is it that acutally motivates me to write?

It’s not something that I’ve been able to easily answer in the past, and it’s still something that I struggle with regularly.

Review: Planetfall by Emma Newman

Review: Planetfall by Emma Newman

This is a very different kind of science fiction novel. Definitely not hard SciFi, it taps into something a little more human than most others (though it is very dependant on detailed description of the technologies present in the world they inhabit).

Pokémon NO

Pokémon NO

Being the well connected digital citizen I am, I have been far from immune. Catching Pokémon left and right throughout my day, comparing them to colleagues efforts, reminiscing of the halcyon days playing Pokémon Diamond on my Nintendo DS.

But today I’ve crossed the unimaginable line, walked the path few are yet to tread. That’s right folks…

I’ve requested my account be deleted.

New cards ordered!

New cards ordered!

Upcoming on August 12th, 13th and 14th 2016 is the Bendigo Writers Festival. Since this is my local writing event, I thought it was high time I splashed out and picked up some new business cards.

11 quick tips for writing great content

11 quick tips for writing great content

Writing content for the web is very different than writing for a business paper, technical document, novel or essay. 

Getting it right can take time and effort but can make all the difference. It can often be the dividing line between deeply engaging with an individual or causing them to become disinterested in your information.

Here are a few tips to help you shape your content to better engage and inform, while still conveying your key message.

iA Writer - How to set the default file type

iA Writer - How to set the default file type

It’s no secret that I love distraction-free, markdown flavoured writing environments. I’ve tried a heap of them but always come back to those that don’t offer me a thousand preferences and require me to configure the bridge of a starship before getting any real writing done.

Here is a way to change the default extension in iA Writer

 

Once more friends we begin anew.

Once more friends we begin anew.

Now that I've had some time to sit down and put effort into creating a decent presence online once again, and that I've configured it with a blog... 

I suppose that I should write something here in honour of the occasion.