I have some quirks with in my writing habits and techniques I need help in curbing. If there was any writing group in this little town, I’d be finding a way to become a member and would attend the meeting regularly. Unfortunately, the bulk of this community is middle-aged to seniors trying to stay youthful through physical activities. I can understand this endeavor and would probably join them if I could. I looked into online writing groups as an option, and even ended up joining one, Writing.Com. The spontaneous give and take isn’t there. If their chat room was more active, I could discern how it might help, if only in part.
I read some of the blogs writing by writers, both from professionals and hobbyists. Many have written posts about their routine for writing. They list what they do first, second, third, et cetera. All points are worthwhile to consider for the one who is reading these posts. Still, the bulk of these sites aren’t reaching to what I surmise to need right now.
One of the items listed seems to always be included is have a quiet place to write. This is a must for me. Without the quiet, there isn’t a chance in hell I’ll be able to write anything coherent.
I’ve come across people who are able to write while at a coffee shop, a park, or wherever. How do they do that? Do they wear earplugs? Do they have some magical way to block out what is going on around them? There are times when even the whisper of the furnace or air conditioner will distract me.
Could it be it’s a case of me having overly sensitive hearing? I can’t see how that could be possible considering the fact that part of my disability entails tone deafness in my right ear. If anything, I don’t hear well enough.
I could be having issues with staying focused. In truth, I know this already. It’s another part of my disability. Some of my cognitive functions have been damaged, concentration being one of the big ones. The only solution I’ve come up with to successfully manage this deficiency is to have my surroundings as quiet as possible when I’m working on anything I deem important.
Another item I see on many of these writing habit lists is a solid routine. I fall short in this area but have nothing to blame it on other that my reluctance to organize my days better. I want to think of myself as an organizing freak because it’s one of the things that keeps my memory sharp. The reality is I fall short of my goal in this area.
To avoid responsibility, I guess I could blame it on my husband’s work schedule. I’m a morning person, yet his job shift is late afternoon to late evening. I could tell you how ingrained my natural habits are, but the truth is I probably could change the time my creative juices are flowing if I tried hard enough. Between five o’clock and six o’clock in the early evening, I get what is called my second wind. On good days, it will last until approximately 8 o’clock. That isn’t a lot of time for writing, but, with determination, it could make a good chunk of creative typing. This may also solve the problem with noise I seem to be so susceptible to. Enforcing this within me is my challenge.
An item I see on lists that I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around is when to do any of the editing. I know that in order to get a good train of thought going, a writer should just write. Forget about misspelled words, grammar errors, and questions about the flow of the script. I know I should just keep on writing until I feel done, at least for a short while.
Yet, I find myself stopping to look up a word in the Thesaurus or Dictionary, or I know for certain I can make a phrase, sentence or a whole paragraph sound better and will stop to do that. These things can wait until I’m done with the initial writing. The way I’m doing it now, I’ll never get past the first draft.
My oddities may seem insignificant, but they wear on my mind, stopping me from putting full concentration on the craft. One way or another I must come to times with these idiosyncrasies.