Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tiny lessons

1. Just sit down with the computer and put your hands on the keys. You probably won't even notice when you start writing, and by the time you stop you'll have done something. Which is better than the nothing you would have had, if you'd still been flopping around thinking of reasons not to write.

2. Sometimes you have to bribe yourself in order to get it done. Yesterday I was in the unusual position of having two things to do that I love, at the same time, and I was avoiding both of them for reasons unknown. I couldn't decide which was the reward and which was the work. One was writing, the other was paddleboarding. Both activities make me happy and give me a rush when they're done. Both require stamina and hard work. One is all physical, the other is all mental. I really, seriously could not decide which one I wanted to do more. Or less. By default I ended up writing because in the end, writing might lead to an income. Paddling won't.

3. It's not the worst thing in the world that I'm a little zoned out during periods of intense writing. After all, I'm creating a world that doesn't actually exist. You have to be a little crazy and detached from reality to make a convincing alternate reality. I think. I hope. It's happening, anyway. Sometimes I just feel like I'm floating, untethered to the ground. I usually wake up feeling re-tethered. So perhaps the answer is always sleep well.

4. A seriously long walk is a great idea when the brain gives out. Fresh air, birdsong, and physical distance from the desk. Good idea.

5. Always back up your work. My laptop spontaneously rebooted itself today and told me it was updating Windows. I didn't tell it to. I went inside to get a glass of water, and when I came back my computer told me to wait. Then it went black. I didn't panic. I rebooted twice and finally things went back to normal. At which point I immediately copied my latest draft onto my flash drive. Now I'm turning the computer off before it freaks out again. Maybe it just needs a vacation too.

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