The Writing Days Gets A Makeover

Hello people!

I’m currently working on some changes to The Writing Days. I hope the new look and organisation will reflect my style better, and therefore give you something more to connect with.

Here’s a sneak peek to what I’ve been thinking, based on my exploration of what I want this blog to be and show to the world.

Blog makeover colour schemeMy ideas are still a little unfinished, but here’s the basic idea.

I hope you will like it – I’m very excited for these changes!

Love,
Aino.

The Secret That’ll Get You Writing

I’m in that point in my master’s thesis where I have to hand in the first 20 pages… in two weeks. I’m calling my method a secret, perhaps a little mistakenly, but it’s taken me long enough to discover it. It’s certainly remained a secret from me long enough! While I’ve used this for thesis writing, it’ll work in any situation where you want and need to write effectively. So here’s the thing:

Make writing an event.

For me, that means making tea in my floral-patterned teapot, lighting a scented candle and putting my thinking cap on. Literally. It’s a white knitted turban and it makes me look like a bohemian thinker, or so I think at least. And that’s the only thing that matters. When you have things and rituals that take you away from your daily life, it’s easier to accept the role of a writer; to forget about being a student, a parent, a doctor, a flight attendant, a friend, a dancer, an enthusiastic knitter; to truly let yourself be a writer.

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Design a space where you feel inspired. Photo by me. Also found at instagram.com/ainotuulia

Sometimes making writing an event means breaking the ritual. If you usually sit behind a desk, take your laptop and try writing somewhere else. Your bed, kitchen, or bathroom floor are all creative hotspots. If they aren’t, you can always go somewhere else. I once built a pillow fort in my apartment for Camp NaNoWriMo, you know, because adults are allowed to do things like that. If you want to venture outside your home, try writing in libraries, cafés, parks… Anywhere!

Why is this important?

You know how you’re always told that writing is no-nonsense hard work that’s nothing like those romanticised views ignorant people keep spreading? Yeah, those things are all true. But if you have a persistent image in your head of a writer who types away by candlelight, dressed in an oversized sweater and fingerless gloves, while gloomy jazz plays softly in the background, maybe fulfilling that image will help you accept your writer-self. I mentioned the role of a writer – cast yourself as one! Don’t think about other people’s opinions on how professional and nonchalant you should be about writing. If you imagine a writer whose house is filled with flowers and who only writes in a dressing gown, then try what it’s like to be them. You can always change your mind later.

I think I’m going to try listening to recordings of typewriters the next time I sit in front of my laptop. It’s a sound that makes me so inspired! So why haven’t I thought of this before? I’m also thinking about redecorating my apartment a little, to make it match that bohemian artist and thinker I know is inside me.

Do you have any rituals connected with writing? Is there a writer outfit you wear, or a spot in your home that always does the trick? What’s the first image you see in your mind when you think about a writer? I’d love to know what you think!

Love,
Aino.

Farewell, Notebook

A few days before Christmas I wrote on the last page of my then notebook. During the event, I suddenly realised how emotional and filled with ritual these moments have become. So I want to share them with you.

The realisation.

The last couple of pages of a notebook get my heart racing, almost like finishing a novel I’m reading. Seeing the end of a notebook so near fills my heart with an exhilarating sense of accomplishment, but at the same time I feel a bit melancholy.

The gratitude.

My notebooks do feel like close friends. They travel with me, they live with me, and they share my personal thoughts, along with my creative outbursts, with me. I’m deeply committed to each of my notebooks, and sometimes it’s like they take on personalities of their own. They absorb everything I write in them, so not carrying a particular notebook with me feels like leaving a close friend behind. And I can only thank them for sharing my life with me.

The letter.

The last few pages of my notebook are always reserved for a goodbye letter. It’s a thank you, a personal recognition from me to the hundreds of pages I’ve filled on our journey together. I go through what we’ve accomplished together, the life events we’ve been through, and the plans we have for our future. I feel like I need to tell that notebook that I won’t forget it or leave it behind.

The close.

I sign my thank you letter, shed a little tear and turn the last page. I’ve poured my heart in between the hard covers, so letting go always feels blue. But then I open my new notebook, knowing that it will be just as much a trusted friend as the ones before it.

So why do I do this? I suppose the notebook is only a writer’s tool. One of the most important tools, but still just a tool. But it’s a tool I’ve taken to the darkest of places, as well as to the lightest ones. I’m not sure anyone or anything in my life gets that close to me – at least not in the same way.

Do you have any rituals linked to writing? How are your notebooks – or do you use something else? What do you think are the writer’s most important tools? I’d love to read your thoughts on the subject!

Love,
Aino.