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Wednesday, January 9, 2013
12:00 AM | Posted by Sin | | Edit Post
Influence: Cin and Uri's playlist.
“Away From the Sunlight” Tread. (Blood in the Dust, 2012)
“Lost and Forgotten” Tsavo. (The Search, 2008)
“The Only One” Evanescence. (The Open Door, 2006)
“A Different Kind of Love” Tragedy Machine. (Pacify, 2011)
“The Return” Tread. (Blood in the Dust, 2012)
“My Surrender” Parabelle. (Your Starry Eyes Will Never Make Us Even, 2012)
“Nocturn of Illusion” Tsavo. (The Search, 2008)
“Turning the Page (the Secret Song)” Tsavo. (The Search, 2008)
“Aftermath” Hurt. (Vol II., 2007)
“What goes up, must come down.” Sir Isaac Newton.
Such is my writing life.
The holidays disrupts my very short window of writing time. That time when the house is quiet, there is nary a peep when everyone is asleep, including my cats is when I get the most done. But from the week before Thanksgiving until the new year, I spend my time cleaning house and cooking and gift shopping, gift wrapping and gift giving. Then once the sprint for the holidays is over and done, my sprint towards working on taxes and expense reports and provider agreements and W-2s is in full swing. I don't have a writer's life again until April. This cycle irks me. So I decided this year I would organize my life to better achieve my writing goals starting with how to relax and chill out.
I feel like I spend my life in a perpetual state of anxiety and full blown panic. So many things to worry about, so many things to accomplish in such a short amount of time. I run from one thing to the next. I juggle sixteen different tasks. My brain is always working, always recalling, always compensating for shortcomings. By the end of the day even my creative side is exhausted. The only way to fix this is to recharge before the free time begins. I feel like so rarely do we actually give our brains a chance to time out and recharge before we're off rushing to do the next task. No wonder we have frequent inactive periods where our characters are quiet and we're so frustrated that banging our heads against a brick wall is more productive.
Most people use their sleep cycle to recharge. I'm an active dreamer. In the few short hours I manage to pass out, my brain is filled with creative activity. My dreams are lucid and vivid and so real it feels as if I've never actually slept. Dreaming is where a lot of my writing productive occurs. I dream of my world and of my characters. I dream of the next sequence, or maybe the sequence that will happen in the near future or a scene I hadn't outlined yet. Some of my best creativity comes from when I sleep. I wake up in the morning, take a shower to digest everything that has occurred and I furiously write it all down in my notebook for further analyzing.
At nights, I come home and settle down. I do everything required as HBIC and as soon as I get that first chance to sit down and just breathe, I start detoxing from my day. I mentally count backwards from twenty. I lean back into my chair and take deep breaths to relax. I tune everything else out. The TV is ignored. The loud talking, the jabbering and carrying on is nullified. Just these few seconds to myself at the end of the night before I start writing helps me focus on the task at hand. Everything is shoved to the wayside. Anything I didn't accomplish before I arrived home is no longer my concern until 7:30am the next morning. Once 10:30 hits, I'm in writing mode. Writing is work. It deserves to have my full attention not me worrying about how much more time it's going to take to fix a tiny error on a tax form because I forgot to add in a month federal deposit into my final figures. There is no room for me to think about my writing while I'm fine-toothing a provider agreement and reading the teeny tiny fine print to make sure the DR won't get screwed some way by signing said agreement. Why should I be thinking about taxes and the office at home during my writing time? It's easy- I shouldn't.
A few years ago I attended a work conference and the lady giving the management class came to the front of the class right on the dot at eight A.M and said, “If there is one thing I want you to take from these four hours it is this- “When you walk through the clinic door everything that was outside the door stays there.” Remind your staff that the moment you step inside the office it's no longer play time. It's work time. They can leave all their non-work troubles behind and give you a hundred percent for their allotted work schedule and you'll do the same for them. Your office will run efficiently with minimal drama and your DR will thank you for it.”
Work stays at work. Home stays at home. Don't mix the two. This is not a simple matter of mixing business with pleasure. Treat your writing like it is the most precious of businesses that you love with the fiercest of passion and protect at all costs. You want to keep your business/writing flourishing and your clients/characters happy. Your characters will be much happier if you can focus on them instead of that report you're supposed to file at the end of the week you haven't started if you can just leave everything else behind and focus on the characters and story. I think this should be true even if you stay at home with the little ones or work from home. There needs to be a place that is just truly dedicated to your work. Once you walk into that room everything else melts away and you focus on the goal ahead- not on anything else. Not the screaming and crying over the remote control in the living room. Not the teenager texting while standing at the door asking you in a monotone voice if they can go to so and so's house. Not the husband/boyfriend/significant other tearing up the kitchen on the hunt for the last cookie. Not the dog horking up the pair of thongs you've been missing for a week. Or the cat shredding your last good notebook. The room where the writing happens. Or the corner where the writing happens. Designate a spot and do only that. Just write. No multi-tasking.
So I guess what you can take away from this is that minimize the drama in your business and you'll get a whole heck of a lot more accomplished in shorter amounts of time. And what better time of the year to start something new and excited as this than right now?
Tell me what kinds of advice do you adhere to regarding your personal/writing time? What can you add to my new writing philosophy that will help me start this new year off right? Anyone else feel like they're not accomplishing anything they set out to do at the start of the year?