“Appealing workplaces are to be avoided. One wants a room with no view, so imagination can meet memory in the dark.” ~ Annie Dillard
This is one time when time I don’t agree with Annie Dillard. I need my workspace to be appealing on some level. It is so easy to resist doing the work, why put up another roadblock by making the space where I write unappealing?
I am not precious about where I write. I’ve written at my desk in my writing space, in my writing/reading nook in the living room, at the bookstore, in the car, on a plane, at a picnic table by the lake.
The space around me is not the distracting thing. It’s the space in my head that can be distracting. It’s the lure of the world at my literal fingertips with the click of a mouse that is distracting.
So, I guess it’s less of an unappealing workplace that I need and more of a non-distracting one. I’ve found a fe within stop help with that.
I use earplugs when I am out in the world writing. It mutes the sounds swirling around me. I will even use them at home if others are in the house. It creates an instant cocoon of concentration.
Downloading the Freedom app is an amazing distraction eraser. I set the timer for how long I want to be locked out of internet access and I write without the temptation of Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter taunting me.
My biggest distraction can be my own mind. That’s where meditation comes in. I resisted it for so long. Felt like a fraud everytime I tried to meditate. But now it has become the cornerstone of my writing practice. It doesn’t clear my mind of all its clutter. As a writer, that’s not what I want anyway. It’s more like it allows everything to settle just enough so I can focus. It’s easier to let thoughts go, to stay present to what I am doing. As a writer, that is what I need the most. I need to be present to the words, to the characters, to the story—to the next word, sentence, scene that needs to be written.
Meditation also allows me to befriend my mind. To notice with a light curiosity what exactly goes on in there. Seeing how the mind is one of a writer’s greatest tools, anything that bridges the gap is welcome. It also teaches me to become comfortable with being uncomfortable which is also a great asset as a writer.
Meditation is a tool just like my notebook or computer at this point—essential and non-negotiable.
How much did I write today?
What did I work on?
WIP for 3o solid minutes. ( I set a timer). It was the firs thing I worked on which helped my concentration.
Healthy Living Journal
WAY Dig Deeper and Writing Prompt
Times of day:
2-4 at the bookstore
9 PM – 10 PM in my writing nook
A little tired. Mid afternoon is not prime time for me. Also a little frustrated with my WIP. Feeling a little stuck about about the sequence of events and some backstory. Started taking notes on what happens in each chapter and whether it is Current Story or Back story. That is helping.
Instead of needing to produce more words, I used my time to figure out what I have and what the story needs.
Any time spent working on the story is well spent even if the word count doesn’t increase.