Monday, March 7, 2011

Good Ol' Fashion Writing

Writer's block
Photo by bingbing
So, I have a problem when I sit down to write—my social addictions:
email * facebook * blogging

My computer conveniently “dings” when I get a new email, and since some blogs and facebook are connected to my email, I am usually inundated with “dinging” as I try to progress in my wip. (And even if I hit the mute button, my lovely “mac” dashboard conveniently SHOWS me when a new email arrives.)
Usually, my time to write is precious, so I frustrate myself when I waste it on “social” distractions.

Self-control is not my strong fruit!

Photo by samthomsa
The other day though, I was rushing out to drop off my 4 year old at preschool, and then return a book to the library. Usually, I lug my laptop along with me and set up shop at Barnes & Noble or Panera to get some uninterrupted writing done (besides all the dinging and people-watching).

Well, I just didn't feel like it, so I grabbed my journal instead.

And I sat down in a corner in the quiet library, surrounded by books (actually the nook I was in was right by all the historical novels...convenient inspiration for my current wip!) and pulled out my journal and pen, and fleshed out some good ol' fashion writing without the distraction that my laptop brings.

It was so freeing!

I didn't have to depend on technology to assist my creative juice flow, I could just write, write, write, and get scene upon scene out on the pages.

Some may say, “well, now you have to go type it all in...” but the best part of this “extra” step is, I can edit during transcribing, and...voila...I have a more polished scene freshly typed in my wip!
Photo by JamesRoseUK
Do you have any tips on getting rid of the distractions that come with instant communication...emails, phone calls, during your writing time?


Jillian said...

I can so relate to your post, Angie. There is nothing better than me, a pen and a notepad to avoid the distractions of the internet. Sometimes the e-mails can be overwhelming.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I limit myself and have blocked off mornings for social networking. The afternoon I write. I don't even go there. When I'm done writing, then I can go there.
~ Wendy

Christine Long said...

I try to make sure I'm logged out of all my accounts so that I don't get the notices.

I also set a goal for myself. If I need to write 20 pages, I'll break it up into segments. Something like if I finish 5 pages, I get 10 minutes to answer email or play on a social site. I make sure I stick to my time limit and get back to work. Sometimes the pages take forever. Sometimes they practically write themselves. Either way, it helps to keep me focused.

Thanks for your post!

Angie Dicken said...

Great habits, gals! I need to be more disciplined...right now I feel like I am floating and grasping at what I would like to accomplish, but then getting handfuls of something else! :) Time management would be a great workshop theme for me!

Casey said...

Wendy and I have a near writing pattern. I do a bit of the same though I do still have the internet connected because I listen to internet radio, but I leave my emails up. Because if I DON'T leave it up, I keep wanting to check it. If I leave it up, and force myself to STAY FAR AWAY even when the computer bings, it makes me push harder to finish my writing. Weird I know.

But I did get the chance to travel with my mom a few weeks ago and I wrote for about an hour in a Starbucks. RECORD WORD COUNT. I refuse to hook up my internet there because I don't want to be hacked, being a place like that was so helpful!

That's my novella for this morning. :) Great post Ang! And obviously no little one yet, since you're here with us. :)

Laura S. said...

That's one of the reasons I like beginning my writing day by writing in a notebook: when I transfer it the computer, I automatically edit it as I type it in. And sometimes I get new ideas for how to proceed. There's something special about old-fashioned ink and paper writing!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Don't tell Pepper I said this (we are currently debating whether the pen or the keyboard would win), but I enjoy seeing the pages with lines crossed out, arrows directing me in loops around the page. Sometimes I turn the page 360 to finish some sentence. Then there is the tiny scrawls between lines and my hopes that I remember which direction I took those when I key it in my computer.
Deciphering my hand written page sure puts pizazz and stimulation into my thinking. :)
Remember, mums the word for Pepper

Terrie Todd said...

Writing by hand is just too slow for me, I barely even journal by hand anymore. But I can sure relate to the distractions. I just log out of everything when I have some serious writing or editing to do. Then, like Christine, I reward myself after meeting a goal by checking email or whatever.

Misha Gerrick said...

Not sure. I am in the clutches of my addiction. And writing by hand won't work because I have an entire draft handwritten.

But it was heaven to write like that. I miss it. :-/

Keli Gwyn said...

When I time warp into the 1870s and work on my story, I tend to be so absorbed in my alternate world that I'm not tempted to visit social networking sites. I, do, however battle the "need" to check email, so there are times I have to close the program so I don't hear the pings that let me know I have mail.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Oh, yeah, that pesky social networking business. I try to allot a certain amount of time for it, then move onto writing from there so I feel like I'm making progress. Sometimes I'll go back and forth for a little break in writing and that usually seems to help. Still, I find myself checking my e-mail a lot!

Angie Dicken said...

You all inspire me! I sometimes feel like a prisoner to my social right now...I need to go run errands, but I am a zombie to the internet...gotta GO!!! :)

Pepper said...

Oooo Angie,
Good post.
Self- control is not my ripest fruit either.
Especially when it comes to people and food.
But, I still write out some things by hand, for the simple beauty of it. It can also be cathartic in a lot of ways - AND the whole benefit of a pre-edit (if you will) suits me fine.
En guarde, Mary - I saw that.
To edit or not to Edit....
Next week we'll answer the question ;-)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Oh, yes! I am an addict and it is a shameful thing. Why or why do I keep checking for an email? or a comment? Really, it is ridiculous. I've been doing a lot better since I lessened the amount of blogging I was doing. It is a weaning process, for sure!