The Writer Zone

All writers have one. It’s the place they go to strictly in their head, where reality doesn’t matter and we can play with all our toys at once. So to speak. I call mine “another dimension”.

Author, John Green, calls his “Cheyenne, Wyoming” and like all writers inside their personal imagination-land, tends to miss out on real life because of it.

Some take longer to adjust to real life than others. Me? I’ve gathered the art of coming out into reality much quicker than most. You see, I used to be a ‘spare time’ writer. All my writing would happen in my spare time.

And since I was also doing Uni at the time, that spare time included: waiting for lecturers to turn up, waiting for programs to compile, waiting for the bus (rain not necessary), and waiting for things to happen that required a modicum of sitting down. At any given moment, the lecturer would arrive, the program would either work or fail in ways that crashed the server, or the bus would get there. I also wrote between point A and point B.

So I learned to write in a hurry, and I learned to keep at least one foot present in reality. Well, metaphorically. I had an ear open, for most scenarios, as to what was going on. Other times, it was keeping an eye out.

That said…

It still takes my brain a while to catch up after switching gears. I have temporary auditory processing disorder. Sometimes, I need the context as well. And, if I’m peeking into other realms while I’m driving, I can miss things. Case in point – I got a speeding ticket just this morning. I’m usually good, but… not this morning. Whoops.

The other caveat is that I can easily be distracted from my writing by other things. Random noises, Tumblr, videos that seem cool to watch. At least I have a plan for focussing on my writing in all of those cases.

Noises are a frequent problem, so I have iTunes running in the background, playing all my tunes. Only the really loud noises can and should distract me after that.

As for the other two hazards… I have a cunning strategy called “Close the Window, Dummins”. If the only thing visible is the thing I need to do, then I can do the thing. Most of the time.

There’s times when I just can’t focus on anything, when writing is a slog, and so is dealing with reality. I’ve had entire weeks when I just wanted to sleep and veg out with better, fun activities. Those are the days I call myself Scattershot.

And those are the tough ones. I have to verbally remind myself of the thing I need to do. Frequently. I wind up shouting at myself. And I wind up berating myself and calling me names.

That… could wind up in a destructive spiral. At the end of one of _those_ days, it’s essential to have a self-reward.

So you don’t take it out on those near and dear to you.

 

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