To be outstanding - get comfortable with being UNCOMFORTABLE!
Well a very bright and early “good morning” this morning. I procrastinated with writing my blog yesterday (Saturday) thinking that I would have so much time on Sunday to write and bring my inspiring and humorous words to all of you - which I currently think tops out at about 5 people! But hey, thanks for being here! One day when I am a best selling author *ah hem* with my own section among the “Fiction & Literature” section of the book store, you will be glad you were with me in these early days!
I spent most of my week dedicating at least a few moments a day to thinking of what I would blog about this weekend. An amazing idea would strike me in the midst of a book tuber video I was watching, or while I was typing away to achieve my word count for the day, and I would jot it down in my notebook for reference. Funny thing is, very late last night I had my best friend drove into town for the weekend, and is staying with us for a few days. In order to get to my notebook with my brilliant ideas, I would have to go into my spare room to get the book, and said friend is currently sleeping in my spare room - can you see my dilemma?
But! Lucky for all of you, I can seem to find inspiration in just about anything, and my reason for not having access to my notebook has inspired this weeks topic (nearly 300 words later, I shall get to what I want to talk about today!)
This past week was a bit of a blessing of time that my boss offered to me during the Christmas break. I never seem to remember to take time off, and so he thought it might be a good idea for me to take an extra week to relax and take a breather. It is the quietest time of year for us at work, so it is the best time to be away.
So, since I have decided 2017 is the year I completely my manuscript, I thought, “Hell yeah, this is a great idea, one solid week to do nothing but write!” and initially planned to finish my novel before the week was out (ok, let me just say here, I was hopped up on coffee and over thinking, mix that with New Year excitement, and I may have overshot my target a little!) I soon realized that, although I had everything outlined in my head - of course that’s the safest place for it to be outlined! - I was only at 22 thousand words of an estimated 85 thousand. It wasn’t going to happen. I decided on a more modest 10 thousand words to be completed by the time I went back to work. That I knew I could accomplish. So last Saturday I sat and wrote. I wrote in the bathtub, I wrote sitting in a very awkward position on my couch in the basement, cocoon-style, propped up by pillows. I wrote sitting in my husband’s lazy boy. Sitting straight, curled up with the computer resting on an armrest, leaning towards the table, at one end of the couch, at the other end of the couch. It was nearly impossible. For anyone who follows me on Instagram or twitter, scan through the photos I posted over the last week. Each one is in a new position, a new location. Thursday morning, while trying to get comfortable and having a hard time focusing on writing while my back was aching, I decided I needed a desk. I set to finding a space in my fully furnished house, and where I could arrange a pop-up table in a way that didn’t take over the room, but gave me a perfectly creative space. I Found it! My spare room is hardly utilized, and though I don’t have a lot of room to play with, I could set up a small table in front of the window, looking out over the road, so I could still people watch while I wrote, but in a separate room, so if my husband was home, I wouldn’t have to disturb him, nor him I, and I didn’t have to spend time to set up and breakdown everything I need to write each time I had a brilliant idea.
When I sit down to write, I need an environment that is not going to distract me from what I need to do, but that will calm and soothe me. I need space to fan my stuff out, like my notebook, so that as my brain jumps ahead a few chapters I can jot down ideas, or as things take a turn, I can make a note to myself for revisions to make from earlier chapters.
So here I am, sitting comfortably on the end of the spare bed, “desk” up against the flowy (yes flowy is a word, trust me!) white sheers, my scented candle is lit, my lamp is on. I have my notebooks handy, my laptop open and Scrivener waiting for me to dive in, and just the gentle ticking of my fingers on the keyboard as I try to get warmed up mentally to really start writing. The ticking… the constant ticking… it becomes the only thing I hear, and the only way make it stop, is to stop writing. I need music.. Of course I do! Who sits in silence while being their most creative self… Music!
I open Spotify, and here’s my new dilemma. When at work I listen to acoustic covers. It is mellow enough that it doesn’t affect my brain function, but it keeps me motivated and upbeat. But acoustic covers typically have me singing along with them, even if just in my own head to save those around me from having to tear their own eardrums out. I can’t sing and type dialogue at the same time so what next? Classical or Piano instrumentals. So, this worked for me at the beginning of the week, it was subtle and it was something for the background, but ultimately, it didn’t do much to increase productivity, it was just there. So I hop on Youtube and go visit some of my favourite book tubers to see if they can inspire my music selection (Yes I know I know, I am procrastinating again - I should be writing, and instead I am watching videos on what music I should listen to while writing)
Someone suggested to search any genre of music, but as instrumentals. I don’t know why I don’t think of these things, its so obvious! I open Spotify, type in “instrumental” and sure enough, look at all these playlists! I settle on a pop collection. I love it. There are still some songs that make me want to stop working to sing the lyrics at the top of my lungs, just because there are no words doesn’t mean I can’t sing for all I’m worth! When “Ironic” came on, for instance, there was nothing stopping me from singing along karaoke style- until I realized why they have the words for karaoke, because without prompts its quite easy to completely lose track! Let’s just say, it wasn’t a legendary performance, and about half way through when I realized I was repeating the first verse, I should just focus on my work in progress.
So that was my week, I found a perfect space to write (of which, “ironically” is occupied so I am back on the couch trying to find a suitable position - I have moved three times already while trying to write this) and I have my music selection! I blew the 10 thousand word count out of the water, I am sitting at 14 thousand words this morning and hope to get in another thousand to two thousand words before tonight. Below are some of the photos I posted this week, just to show how real my struggle is! Hahaha.. Until next week!