Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Regaining discipline

My writing habit is the best skill I have. I've said that fairly often, and talked about how I have a two-hour block set aside each night for writing or working on projects. There was another two-hour block that I frequently added on, in the afternoon. Last year, I churned out a quarter million words using this system.

Because of publishing Disciple, personal life upheavals, and the reality that most people's free time is in the evening... my writing habit has taken a serious hit since July.

I've found myself falling prey to various forms of cat-vacuuming, aka cat-waxing and other amusing names. These are the semi-pointless things you do to avoid having to sit down at the computer and write. Not entirely pointless, of course, or you couldn't justify doing them at all. But they don't need to be done by any stretch of the imagination.

Checking email boxes. Wandering into Reddit, AW, or PersonalityCafe. Watching the year and a half of Law&Order SVU that I've got piled up in my Hulu queue. (Formulaic, rote, mental potato chips. Somebody stop me. Please.)

It's time to get my discipline back.

Eliminate distractions
Normally, I'd say "Quit out of the browser" but I really do need a Wikipedia page open for quick reference and I keep my photo pin boards at Linoit.com (check them out -- it's a real pin board unlike Pinterest, and it's private so fewer copyright worries.)

I need to toss all the other tabs, though. Log out of email accounts. Close other programs. Ignore the phone and the cats when they pester me for attention.

Focus on the rituals
These are the things I do just before sitting down to write. They tell my brain that we're going to write now. I pour myself a drink, take off my shoes, make a pit stop at the bathroom, and pick the music for today's writing. These have gotten a bit muddied, for various reasons, and I need to start doing them again.

Think outside the box
It may be that I need to move my writing block from after dinner to after lunch. I can write in the afternoon, but it will require juggling the things I've been doing then. It would free me up for social functions in the evening, though, and I'd still have the morning for errands and other daytime chores. Blogging and surfing the web would fill in the evenings that I don't go out (most of them.)

When do I start?
No time like the present. I've already put it off for too long.

How do you juggle your schedule to fit everything in?

1 comment:

Liz A. said...

When I'm not too tired, I can manage a writing block when I get home from work. But lately I've been too tired.

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