More worthwhile points from If You Can Talk, You Can Write by Joel Saltzman. [Not an affiliate link. I just couldn’t easily find his own website.]
- ” ‘Who needs another book on writing?’ ”
I needed to write this book for myself–to see if I could take what I had learned over the years and write about it my way, with my particular slant on things.”
- “Remember: There’s nothing new under the sun. So don’t let an old idea stand in your way, not for a second. Don’t sit around waiting for the Big Idea; start with a small idea (like “two women go on a road trip”) and make it big.”
- A quote from John Cougar Mellencamp: “All I can really do is entertain myself, and hope along the way I can entertain somebody else.”
Yesterday was the slow-pitch softball approach to warding off distractions.
Today, we go major league.
- Dogs belong on the other side of the door. [Pick up a multi-pack of industrial strength earplugs. They’ll muffle out the plaintive canine cries for attention and/or the symphony of squeak toys your furry friends have pulled out of the closet.] I know, I know…noise-canceling headphones, but what’s the fun of those?
- Significant others? Make an appointment for lunch. Let’s get real here–they’re going to love an hour away from you.
- You’re granted one preset alarm–a midpoint reminder to blink and stretch.
- Restroom breaks–cordon off the path with crime scene tape or, better yet, electric fencing. No straying allowed. [Warning sign is optional.]
Need me to be your productivity cop? Airfare, lodging [I’ll even walk and feed the dogs.], $100 an hour. It’s a steal!
With all due respect to the anti-drug message of the 80’s…
Just say no.
Not to your writing, of course,
But to the anti-writing forces.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
But to the myriad of distractions that come with busy times of the year.
- Go for one focused hour. Preferably in the morning. [Srini Rao has nailed down this one-hour thing.]
- Internet OFF. You don’t need Google Docs to crank out your daily words.
- One device only–your productivity tool of choice. That poor shlub in the photo should can the camera. And that clapperboard? Really? It’s just begging him to leave the keyboard and make an annoying racket. [I’ll give him a pass on the coffee.]
- Music with lyrics? Not if you’re in a nix-ative mood.
- Still locked into multi-device existence, are you? The TV? Only one of those music stations.
Otherwise, you’ll fall prey to the ‘Oh, I can do some drafting while the movie is running.’ ploy that the evil manufacturers have wired into the circuitry. [Talk about paranoid…]
Okay, that’s a safe and sane start. Let’s get a little more manic tomorrow…
come more options.
You’ve nailed #1.
But does that choice mean you’re taking a chance? At alienating an audience? At annoying an editor? At disregarding the usually treasured advice of a colleague?
And that choice might mean a complete change in direction. You tilt toward fiction. You opt out of long, luxurious passages for a staccato delivery. You drop the local writing group that’s lost touch with its members’ needs.
Lots of ways to go with this writing thing.
Especially in what you’re writing.
Yes, you might have to sacrifice a few gigs.
But you can look yourself in the mirror, convinced you followed your own compass.
Take a look at numbers 3 and 4 in this list. [Thank you, Stephen King.]