In this crazy month of messed up sleep patterns and gosh-awful writing that values quantity over quality against all the rules of art, it can sometimes be tempting to bury your laptop, notebook, fountain pen, clay tablet, cave wall, or whatever your preferred writing tools happen to be in a deep hole and simply dive headfirst into bed, with no intentions of emerging until December 1st.
Goodness golly gosh, Hemingway would be so proud of that sentence.
Anyway, you can all relate to this temptation, right? Or even the much simpler and more responsible temptation of diving into a book, or even into neglected housework, if the opportunity presents itself. And let’s face it, in our own homes, those temptations rear their attractive heads on a daily basis.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your writing is to get out of your house. Get away from all the things you’d rather do than string words together. Get away from all the chores that are clamoring to be done.
For some lucky people who live in places blessed with beautiful weather, this might be easy. They can just get out into nature and be alone with their pen. This, of course, doesn’t work if you live in a rain puddle like I do.
For other focused souls, this might mean going down to the local coffee shop with a big pair of headphones and clacking away at their keyboard until they get somewhere. Unfortunately, I’m a people watcher, so I get easily distracted when I try to write in public spaces.
But here’s where I get lucky: I’m known in my little community as the girl who works from home, and is therefore usually available for house/pet sitting at a moment’s notice. It’s been pretty handy at a couple of points, especially for a person like me who doesn’t feel naturally comfortable with using other people’s stuff.
During NaNoWriMo, I’ve been called upon to go and spend the day at a good friend’s house several times so their young dog doesn’t have to stay in her kennel for an extended period of time while the owners are gone. This has worked out great, because not only do I get to hang out with this cutie,
but I also know that, once I convince her that my pen is not for eating, I can get a lot of words written, simply due to the fact that I bring nothing with me except my writing tools, and I have no other potential responsibilities other than tossing a tennis ball occasionally.
It’s a method that works for me, anyway.
So if you’re finding yourself easily distracted, or tempted to do anything, even cleaning toilets, rather than be forced to dredge words out of your own mind, find yourself an accommodating puppy to chill with.
Or just go out somewhere, whatever works for you.