Years ago, I read in some magazine in some doctor’s office somewhere, an article about how to be less of slob. In particular, I was drawn to the section on how to keep my closet in order, because I have no patience for closets.
Anyway, there was one piece of advice that really stuck with me. The author talked about fixing all the little things that annoy you about a task. For instance, she recommended fixing or replacing any drawers that stick or catch, getting rid of broken hangers, etc. The idea was that little annoyances, which seem like nothing, actually build up in our heads creating aversion and if we deal with them, the work at hand actually feels less daunting. And you know what – it totally worked.
Clear Away The Annoyances
Since then, I’ve applied the principal to my writing and it works just as well at my desk as it does in my closet.
Here are 4 ways I have discovered to remove tiny annoyances that can build up in my brain and make me avoid my writing.
- Stop writing before you’re out of ideas. It’s a great way to deal with the anxiety that comes from not knowing where to start. I’ve even heard some writers say they stop mid-sentence, so that the task of getting started the next day is a non-issue. They know right where to start.
- Find a writing software that works for you. If you’ve followed the blog for any length of time, you know I’m a big fan of Scrivener, but it’s certainly not the only thing out there. Find some software that you like, even if it requires spending a little money. As writers, we don’t have a lot of expenses, and a good writing program is worth every penny.
- Get comfortable. If your writing space hurts your back, there’s going to be a part of you (your back) that doesn’t want to sit down when it’s time to write. Doesn’t matter where you write. I wrote on the couch every morning for years. Just make sure it’s somewhere you want to sit.
- Have supplies handy. It could be a pen you like, a cup of coffee, tissues, or a candle that you light to summon the creativity muse. Whatever. I used to keep a pair of fingerless gloves handy for cold mornings. These days, I keep nail clippers handy because I can’t stand it if my nails click against the keyboard. You get the idea. If it’s something you might want to get up to retrieve, go ahead and put it where you plan to write. It will make the space that much more inviting.
Don’t Be Too Precious About It
All that said, you can’t be a princess either. There will be times when you suddenly find you have an hour to kill and you want to write, but all you have is a ball point pen and a few old receipts to scribble on. Go for it.
You absolutely don’t need a comfy space and good writing software to get the words down, but when you’re looking to build a routine, to make a regular practice of writing, dealing with the little things can make all the difference.