Wednesday, September 19, 2012

09/19/2012 Writing Wednesday!

Hello everyone! Sorry the post is later than normal, but it's my day off and I felt like relaxing for a little bit. I would have just blamed a cat, but that doesn't seem fair. I got news at work regarding the status of things, but was given good reviews and compliments, so I feel a bit mixed today. I think not being at work will be a good thing overall. Especially since that means I can get lots of progress done on Phase 2.

Today I wanted to take a look at how to handle your environment while writing. I'm not talking about fighting off wild animals (or in my case cats) to defend your right to create. I'm more trying to focus on your ability to stay focused while the world tries to distract you from writing. The world will try to get you to lose focus in a number of ways, and sometimes it just feels like fate is against you, so I'm going to talk about that.

This is something that is a bit harder to go into detail about because it's very subjective. Some people can get work done on a crowded bus, while others can't even focus on something that isn't the road or else their insides feel like they are going to explode. Myself, if I am sitting still (that is not in a moving vehicle) I can write pretty much everywhere, but there are still the risks of distraction. Some people get around this by creating a solitary work area just for them that's quiet and away from everything else. If you're able to do that and the quiet doesn't drive you crazy, more power to you. Though if you're a parent or have pets that seem to require as much attention as a small child, this really isn't an option for you.

Other people give themselves a designated writing time, which I've mentioned before I approve of. I like this because it helps form routines and humans like routines, which in the end will mean that there will be more writing in the future. Now when this 'time' is will vary depending on your circumstances. It could be as simple as when you get home from work and just want to relax and focus on something that isn't office politics for a couple hours, to when the kids are finally asleep/quiet and you can get some time to wind down.

Some people have the ability to block out almost all possible distractions while writing, which means they can do it just about anywhere at anytime. I would say I fall into that category, but I know I don't. There is always something that has the ability to pull away my attention, but there are people who don't have that issue. I don't really know what to say about them except that I hope they notice fire alarms and other emergency alerts when they're 'in the zone'.

Something else that there is little control over is problems with the medium. Some people still hand write everything, but eventually the manuscript will need to be put into some kind of typed format, and who knows what sort of problems can happen there. Maybe you go in with a plan to write a ridiculous number of pages that day, but your computer just wants to update and restart, or (god forbid) there's an actual problem with the computer. This is something I've run into and I nearly died. Obviously I didn't because we got everything fixed (and a new computer) but this is something that not everything has the chance to enjoy.

The important thing about writing in today's world is to partially accept what it's going to throw at you as a distraction. Loud noises, animals, people, explosions, computer problems, fate kicking you in the pants, and the like are all things that you're going to have to face as a writer. The crucial part is how you handle them; if you can stay focused and keep telling yourself that no matter what your story will get told, then it will happen. Now it might be a little slower than you'd like, but speed is not going to help you. As much as everyone would love to be Stephen King and have his ability to pop up a new 1000+ page epic in less than a year (you know, because he's retired, and a robot), that just isn't going to happen. Be happy with what progress you make, and remember that any progress is still progress.

Thanks everyone for stopping by again today. I will be back on Friday with my weekly review. I've noticed that our visitors have been increasing over the past several weeks, and that is very promising and uplifting. I appreciate everyone who's told their friends and who also keep coming back. Thanks a bunch and I hope you have a great rest of your week.

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