Behind the Writing No. 4
I like to think of myself as a creature of habit, but I love change in small doses. I don’t think that makes me crazy. I think we all have a little contradiction in us. (Either that or we see ourselves differently that want we actually are). I find I am more productive when I have less time, when my life is more structured. When I was in university I would get all kinds of things done while working and volunteering and not just the stuff I had to do. I think part of that comes from just having to do something and having to do it when the time is available. When you have a whole open day it’s easy to tell yourself you can do it later (after The Price is Right).
The way my life is currently structured, I have everything or nothing. I either work back to back and have to squeeze in coaching, or I have a day and a half off and tons of time to do nothing (even though I should be getting my writing done). On a side note, that last one seems to throw some people. A friend will call (or text more likely) and want to go out or do something fun and I tell them I am busy, or have to get some more writing done. It seems to leave them stumped. But back to the topic, I find I have a hard time being productive under my current schedule (because I’m lazy, I’ll admit that one).
I have learned some tricks that I use that I at least think work for me. The big one is my desk. Back in high school (when I was a terrible student) I always had my desk facing the wall, because that’s what you did. It saved space and was normal. I found sitting at my desk was such a tedious chore that I would spend more time calculating how much longer I had to sit there than doing my work (rather counterproductive, I know). The game changer was turning my desk around to face the room (and not have my back to the door, that one is even worse). I have always liked the structure of working at a desk. I can see why some people prefer working on the couch, but I find I start to ache after doing that too long. It’s probably my posture.
Another one that totally works for me is to not be at home. I can get twice as much done at a coffee shop than at my desk. I’m not one of those people who will set up shop at a table and spend the whole day there; making loud calls and trying to plug in my printer/fax combo, so don’t worry there. I like to go, sometimes with a friend, and get a coffee, maybe spend an hour with my nose in a book or with my pen to paper, chat a bit then go home. I might even have my ipod in the whole time, (except for ordering, that’s rude). I have had some of my best writing sessions waiting for a friend, or just sitting by myself with a strong cup of joe.
Since I like to write longhand, I have a special pen. I know that sounds super dorky, but I do. It was a present from my brother years ago and initially I didn’t even like it. The body of the pen is really nice, and it wrote well, but the ink was too light, and I’m such a suck that, that’s all it took for me to put the pen in the desk drawer and turn to old school bics. I was too stupid (or naive or something) to just go out and buy a different ink cartridge. (By the way, how cool is the word ink. It just looks neat). More recently I received a pen from one of the schools where I did my placement. It was nice and heavy and had bold dark ink. I used that pen as my primary for a couple of years until the ink ran out. Then I went to buy a replacement cartridge. Sadly it still took me something like a year before I put two and two together. Eventually I came across the pen while cleaning out my desk. It was still in its case, looking as good as ever. I tried to remember why I didn’t use it in the first place and all the pieces fell into place. I went out and got another cartridge and we have been happy ever since. My other pen is happy to be my backup and the fancy one I got from my brother is finally being put to good use. It’s my special pen and it helps me write more. (Because of magic!)
I don’t know why these things help me be more productive (they might not even help at all) but they seem to work and that’s what counts. I am writing more and I feel special every time I sit at my desk, or in a coffee shop, with my special pen and get to work. Of course none of that helps me with my typing. I swear I am going to have my story up before the end of the month, or else I am a big fat liar.
In conclusion, ink, ink, ink.