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Hello writing friend 👋

We took a day off to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park – an open-air gallery set in rolling countryside that showcases work by international artists.

As I strolled around the Henry Moores, the Barbara Hepworths and the Damien Hirsts I realised I’d started to look at things differently – and not just the art. A stack of Weetabix-like hay bales caught my eye in a neighbouring field. A dotted line of trees looked like it had zipped a distant hill together.

The everyday was suddenly elevated. Because I was at a sculpture park, stuff that wasn’t ‘art’ suddenly became more art-y because of the context I was in. 

When it comes to writing, changing the context can give you the mental spring clean you need to refocus and reset. This week on the blog we share some of our best tips to shake things up and make a fresh start. 

Read the blog: Shake up your writing life to stop your routine becoming a rut

Take care ❤️ Chris

PS. Hit reply and tell us if you'd like to be a beta reader for our book.

🚀  Get a fresh start with a sprint

If everyday feels the same at the moment and your writing is feeling a bit lacklustre - make a fresh start this spring with a writing sprint starting Monday 5th of April - free. 

Behaviour change expert Katy Milkman says that a fresh start can shift your psychology in two ways:

💥They feel like new beginnings and 'wiping the slate clean' is motivating.
💥They make us step back and think big picture about our lives and our goals because they shake things up.

👉 Not a member of our sprint group? Join here for free
👉 Already a member and want to join a sprint? Log in here

📝 Writing playbook: how to generate ideas

"The only way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas," said twice-winning Nobel Laureate and all-round creative polymath Linus Pauling.

He's right. Research has shown that if you want to land on a good idea it helps to choose from a few options. That's why we are such big fans of brainstorming and mind mapping.

Whether you're plotting a twist in a novel, identifying a first step to take with your writing, or deciding what outfit to wear to the Oscars/Booker Prize/Nobel award ceremony, here's how to generate ideas.

  • Step away from your desk and regular workspace
  • Go analogue - grab a notebook and pen, some post-it notes, or get creative with coloured paper and crayons
  • Brainstorm as many ideas as you can - at this stage the focus is quantity not quality
  • Think 'yes, and...' as you build on ideas and go wild with connections
  • Don't judge or self edit - the time for evaluation will come so keep thinking creatively

📢 Shout out: Writers' Hour

For the past year, the truly inspirational London Writers' Salon has opened its virtual doors to thousands of writers across the world to help them keep focused with their Writers’ Hour.

Before each session, a writer in the community shares the “Words of Wisdom” – a quote, a poem, or a passage to kick off their writing. Here's 21 of the best. 

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

– Stephen Hawking, chosen by LWS member Silvano

📚 What we're reading... 

The Art of Noticing by Rob Walker is about paying attention. While it might not directly help you write, it will help you tune out white noise, get unstuck from your screen and manage daily distractions. Oh, yes, that will help you write.

With 131 practical exercises, it encourages you to look up from your screen, engage with the world around you, and focus on the things that are most important to you.

It has sparked so many new ideas and conversations, including Bec's exercise in everyday noises for her family zoom call.

😍 3 things we love 

#1. Don't Panic: Douglas Adams' note to self reveals how the author found writing torture “Writing can be good. You attack it, don’t let it attack you." Read more here

#2. Procrastination by design: "One thing I do to procrastinate on books I should be writing is make fake covers for books I don’t intend to write." writes Austin Kleon. Read the blog.

#3. How to cut, cut, cut:  There's lots of advice on how to get words on the page. Here's how writer Jami Attenberg slashed 17,000 words from her memoir. Read here.

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🤷 Reading this for the first time?

The Wednesday Workout is an email newsletter from writing productivity coaches Bec Evans and Chris Smith, co-founders of Prolifiko.

Subscribe to get fortnightly coaching tips and advice and news of our latest coaching plans and courses. When you do we'll send you a free coaching plan The Distracted Writer's Guide to Finding FocusFind out more about Prolifiko.

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