Saturday, March 19, 2016

Some Things to Think About

It’s late, and I’m getting ready to hit the sack. Today was a good day. I accomplished only two things on my ThreeDo list, but they were big ones. Tonight, however, a friend of mine plays the latest Splatoon Splatfest without me, the TV isn’t on, and my mind is burdened with glorious purpose. Unlike Loki, however, I have no plans to subjugate mankind. I just want to be MORE than I am.

I’ve been reading Dean Wesley Smith’s “How to Write a Novel in Ten Days”. It’s a journal blog of his writing process from start to finish as he wrote a ghosted a novel under contract. The book isn’t really as useful as the title leads one to believe. There are no steps broken down in bullet point fashion. No secret tips for novices. It’s just the record of a guy writing. To learn from it, you need to read between the lines and take your own notes.

As I read through the first third of the book, I noticed a few things.

  1. Wow. He gets distracted a lot.
  2. Even on a bad day, he wrote nearly 5x what my average output is. 5000 words to my 1000.
  3. He has one computer for Internet stuff and another for WRITING.

That’s when I remembered that I hadn’t set up my distraction free user on my computer. I wiped my hard drive and started from scratch months ago. I’m glad that I did. I lost all the weird quirky glitches that plagued my Mac, but there are things still left to set up.

I don’t need a separate computer to write with. I have my iPad for that. However, sometimes I can’t sit out on the balcony and write, or visit the library. I need to get my work done on my Mac. But who can get anything done with Notification Center banners, pop up dialog boxes, integrated iPhone hand-off, Twitter notices, and a web browser? Most of the time I can handle it just fine, but there are times I need to tune the world out. Fortunately, I discovered having a distraction free Write Room can be as simple as switching users.

I’ve taken notes of the steps I went through to set it up again. Some steps have changed since I blogged about it last time. I’ll write up a tutorial on it tomorrow for those of you who are interested. In the meantime, I am happily writing to you from my new writing room. SomaFM plays space music in the background, SimplyRain is layering white noise behind it, and I’m free to contemplate some of the things that weigh upon my mind.

Well, actually, I’m going to bed. I can worry about things later. But the ideas that are burning in my mind are whether I can do a daily blog as Dean did, and whether doing that can help me increase my daily word count. I don’t think anybody would care about reading about my incredibly exciting afternoon of errands and distractions before I actually began writing, but maybe it would hold me accountable. It’s just me over here. Nobody nags me to write. Nobody notices if I get distracted. Nobody is here to remind me to not play Splatoon so that I can get more writing done instead. Nobody is here to gently nudge me to stop talking politics with my friend. Maybe, just maybe, if I had to account for my time, I might not squander it quite so entertainingly.

It’s something to think about.