Now that I’ve finished my first novel, I must say writing is hard. Real hard. Let me explain. It isn’t difficult to turn the stuff inside my head into words on paper; in fact, I would argue that the best part of writing is going deep inside of myself and expressing those feelings and emotions through characters. Sometimes, that comes easily, sometimes it’s a bit harder, but the information and direction is always there, just waiting for me to put pen to paper. The hard part is everything around the writing. Full time job that demands my attention, three children that demand my attention, and a wonderful wife that I desperately desire to give my attention to. All of them compete with my characters in a way that makes writing HARD!

Given the chance to reflect upon the last year of my work, I used three methods to calm my mind and get into my work.

First: Classical music. For me, classical music is where creativity starts and stops – and with a song that fits my mood, I can write for hours uninterrupted.

Second: Midnight. I actually wrote the majority of Trials at midnight from Afghanistan. There is a certain peace that comes with the dark night, the rising of the moon, and the lack of people that brings my creativity about. If you haven’t tried it, you should!

Third: Small spaces. The tighter the space, the freer my mind. I don’t know why, but I’m certain its as true as the air I breath. I like to feel confined – as if the only place I can go is inside myself.

That’s it for now. What about you? What are your methods to your madness?

Written by Thane Keller

Thane is a native of Northern Virginia that has been traveling the world with his wife and four children. Thane researches and writes about technology, innovation, leadership, decision-making, and organizational change.