I’m going to try something new. As some of you will know I’ve been struggling to write, particularly since Covid-19 changed our lives, and in fact I’ve stopped, completely, at least on my fiction. This seems a shame considering I have a couple of books about 75% written. They are only at first draft stage but, getting first drafts completed, is always the trickiest part for me.
I feel I need to change things up a bit to make a difference, so I’ve come up with a plan.
I’ve noticed many writers go off to coffee shops or some sort of other place to work on their fiction. And I’ve never done that. I’ve always written at the exact same desk I do all my other work and I’m wondering if a change of scene might spark my creativity back into life. Maybe I’m stale of the same old environment?
Clearly coffee shops are not a possibility right now, mostly because none are open, but also because even if they were there isn’t one within a reasonable distance of my home, as I’m a tad rural. So I wondered if I could do something different at home instead and, with the weather being as lovely as it is at the moment, the garden seems like the best option.
You might think that I would utilise that anyway, considering I work from home, but I never have. I’ve always thought I’d be constantly having to go back to my office to retrieve files etc. so I’ve never bothered.
But now this feels like it could be a refreshing change; one that I’m desperately in need of.
The other point of trying this is that I can also put myself under a little pressure at the same time, by unplugging my laptop. The battery on it will survive somewhere between 2 and 3 hours and I think if I unplugged and headed for the garden I could set myself that time limit, I’m actually thinking of 2 hours at a time, to get down as many words as possible. My aim, 2000. I’m a slow writer though so it might be more like 1000, but that would still be 1000 more than I’m managing right now.
I had fully intended on trying this regime out before I posted this, but my, what seemed like a relatively free week, became filled with this and that, as it does, so I haven’t. However, I shall definitely give it a go over the next week and we’ll see what happens.
In a perfect world I would organise my days so I could do this at the same time every day, thereby making it a habit. Unfortunately, my life really doesn’t work that way, so while I might manage that now and then, mostly I’ll be having to shoehorn those hours in amongst my client work.
However, I like the idea of setting myself up in a new place and to have to sprint write those words, at least for the first drafts. Let’s see if it brings the desired results!
How about you? Have you found changing your setting or a routine that wasn’t working has improved your creative performance? I look forward to hearing from you with any tips or suggestions you are willing to make.
I also unplugged my laptop and headed into the garden, Georgia! I found I needed to turn up the display to maximum brightness and work under the shade of a parasol to see the screen well enough, but it was wonderful to be outside and not feel I was missing out on the lovely weather. It’s now all gone a bit pear-shaped, weather-wise, so I’m back indoors. I was at editing final-draft stage when lockdown came, so being confined to barracks, so to speak, wasn’t in any way a problem for me – I would have had to knuckle down anyway. But I have to admit, the COVID-19 situation did change my attitude a bit and the whole writing/author thing seemed less urgent and I suddenly wanted to introduce other activities into my life which, when we writers are in a groove, often get shoved to the sidelines. I’m lucky that I don’t, like you, have to accommodate work clients, so I’ve been able to reorganise my time so that I spend it in a more diverse way.
Good luck with the new approach! I hope it garners a successful way forward.
Thanks for the comment and tips, Wendy. Sadly, it’s cold and blowing something approaching a gale this morning so I might just have to relocate to another part of the house to try out my experiment instead today. Still worth giving it a go though. I think the lockdown has made everyone rethink the things they are doing and with what level of intensity. You’re right, writing didn’t seem to me to be so important either. Anyway, for now, onward…
It’s a shame the weather has changed, Georgia, but we have a lovely week forecast for next week. I tried working in the garden a few weeks ago but found that the sun was too bright on the PC screen and I was uncomfortable because the outdoor table wasn’t at the right height. However, you might find a way round the problem.
Another thing I was going to try before Covid struck was to spend some time working in a local library. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick that up once things are more settled.
Good luck with it. I think it’s definitely a good idea to try a different location so that you aren’t distracted by your other work. x
Thanks, Heather. The height of my laptop may be an issue actually as in my office I have it on top of three massive books to have it in the correct place. I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll maybe have to lug the books down too! Going to the local library is an excellent idea, and one I could try when I go to town in the future as the closest library is about 10 miles away. Worth trying though. Plus you’re in that bookish, inspiring atmosphere 😀 Hope you manage to make it back to your library soon. x
You’d have thought have so much more time suddenly available would be a writer’s dream but like you I came to a screeching halt. Then life cautiously rebooted here in Spain and I’m writing again. I really hope the garden works because you are a lovely writer. Sometimes, though, it needs a complete change of direction, a completely different type of writing. Something for children, or SF, a change is as good as a holiday. Talking of which – a real holiday is even better. 🙂 If you come to Spain, look me up …
I know! I don’t really understand the impact covid has had on my writing. Thank you for the compliment and I hope it will too. Having said that I haven’t managed to do any today, despite my insistence that I would, mainly because of dog issues… I am actually trying something different, a psychological thriller. And I could certainly do with a holiday. If I am ever in your neck of the woods I shall most certainly look you up. A writing retreat at your place would be a delight 😀
Hope your own writing goes smoothly now you’re back to it… onward!