17 January 2013

Gorilla Glue?

Anyone ever used Gorilla Glue? That stuff can permanently stick almost any two objects in the world together. And it has gorilla in the name, which means it's tough, manly and possibly hairy. What's to stop you from jumping in your car and buying some today?

I wonder if they make any that's safe to put on my brain.

No, I'm not trying to zombify myself. My mind won't focus on writing right now, and I wonder if glue would help. Actual gorillas would be distracting—like shiny objects, but louder. However, I desperately need something, because writing is not getting done.

Anyone else have this problem?

First you look at the computer, glare, run through what you should get finished tonight in your mind, decided that a snack would be just the thing to settle you into story telling mode, turn away and go into the kitchen. If you make it back to the computer, which is about a 50/50 chance for me, you sit. I fiddle with the mouse, and somehow the cursor seems to make its way to the internet icon, where it double clicks of its own accord. The next fifteen the sixty minutes is then sucked from my life, never to return—filled with cute kitten pictures and a snarky remark in Facebook. Or three. That's when I notice the time, shut the computer down and go to my next activity.

So how do you focus?

I've found a few things that work for me. (They're not working tonight, obviously, but I'm justifying this as “writing time.”)

1-Think about what I'm going to work on during the day, so when I get home I ignore the call of the toilet, sit down at my computer and start typing before it's even booted up all the way.
This really can work, it keeps me excited about my wip.

2-Re-read what I wrote last session as a warm up into this one.
Sometimes I forget I had a brilliant idea last night, and if I don't re-read it, then I'll completely miss it. This also gives my editor brain a chance to kick in for a second, which usually helps my writing brain to wake up. Also, if you leave off a writing session in the middle of something exciting, it can be easier to pick up where you left off.

3-Avoid distractions
Turn of the web, leave the snacks in the kitchen, shut the blinds, put in your headphones, remember to start the music (no podcasts or audio books), assume your writer's position and go.

4-Decide that you are NOT going to let the thought of a dirty bathroom, piles of laundry, unfinished projects or all of the shows on your DVR lure you away from writing. Forget about that stuff for a few hours. It will be there when you get back.
This one gets me every time. You see, I got on my computer tonight to write, got distracted by an e-mail from my publicist and decided to blog instead of working on my wip. Before I sat down I trolled the kitchen for a good five minutes looking for just the right snack—because without food I surely can't be expected to use my brain.

5-As so many professional authors say: Butt in chair, eyes on screen, hands on keyboard and type.

Just start typing. See what pops out. Not every single word that comes up on your monitor needs to be awesome. A few lines of crap will be fine for now, you can fix them later. Just get the words on the page.

There isn't a real secret cure for this problem, although now I am considering the Gorilla Glue for the brain option. So often the reason I can't write is because I'm stuck in some aspect of my story. Either it's boring, or I'm missing a key plot point, or my characters have rebelled because I've pushed them too hard and they've had enough and gone on a cruise.

Obviously tonight I'm not going to get very far, but I hope you do!

Anyone else have a cure for the brain that's holding out on you?

1 comment:

Antiquarian said...

I think it's healthy to have "off" times. You're not a robot and it's the life experiences that add salt to the meat of a story.

Don't be a perfectionist about word count or time. As long as you are moving in the right direction you're good.