Friday, November 4, 2011

How I Write-- Getting into the writing zone

For How I Write, the next installment is all about shutting the world out to write. I posed the question to my accountability group because I felt like it was timely with NaNoWriMo starting. How do you get your words in?

First I want to talk a bit about myself because it's relevant to the topic. Unlike many writers, I don't have a family around me. I'm single and I live by myself. I don't have many priorities that aren't my own. I have two cats and while they are like toddlers at times with their mischief, I can pretty much do whatever I want. I control my own schedule. It's not dictated by kids' activities or family. I live 8 hours from my family. There is no chance of them dropping by unannounced. Therefore, I don't really have many excuses for not getting my wordcount or edits in.

That said, the net is my biggest distraction that keeps me from my wordcount. Twitter and Pinterest being one of the biggest offenders. I can get lost in Pinterest for hours, just scrolling through recipes and geek pages and whatever else. TV is the other offender, but usually it's not that big of one. I always have the tv on. I'm one of those people that need background noise at all times.

But what helps me concentrate is exactly that: background noise. Especially shows or movies that I've seen before that I won't pay attention to. On certain days, I need music that I listen to. Unlike some, I need music with words. I find if there's no words, I get distracted. I start to pay attention because I'm annoyed and WAITING for the words. It's one of the reasons I'm not a fan of the jazz music the coffee shop I frequent plays.

Sometimes when this doesn't work and I'm distracted by every. little. thing. I have to either go for a walk to clear my head or do dishes or shower. I'm not sure what it is about water, but it helps me to focus, especially to plot scenes.

If these don't work...well then, there's nothing I can do and I might as well take a day off. ;)

Check out how my other friends shut out the world: Danie Ford Emma G. Delaney Kimberly Farris Kristen Koster


  1. Ha! This week proves we can also be at the exact opposite end of the scales! =)

  2. I don't know what it is about water either. I've had some great Aha! moments while washing dishes, putting clothes in the washing machine or while in the shower.

  3. It used to be that the moment I'd close my writing project and step away from the computer, I'd almost immediately think of a dozen more things I'd want to write down.

    Sometimes I think we're just trying so hard to focus that when we remove ourselves from the perceived obstacle, our subconscious steps up with the solution.

    All writers have their challenges. Sometimes it's just ourselves.

    Great post, Mel!