Anchors Ahoy!

Sunday, September 03, 2006


I've been having a rough time with writing for the past year or so. Not that I've *not* been writing, just that it's been a struggle and nowhere near the level of productivity I used to enjoy. Had to work on that.

There's been a whole lot of ongoing--as in years--bullshit stuff that's happened in real life. Ironically I started writing in part to cope( escape?), but when the crap started to affect my writing, something had to be done.

And a lesson learnt: you really can't escape crap. And you can only cope for so long. You have to deal with it, head on.

So, things aren't perfect but they are much better, and I've been really focused on trying write. One of the things I realized is, I needed to go back to old routines. It was great to have the laptop so I could write anywhere, but I really wasn't writing all that much anywhere I chose.

However, there was one place in the apartment (the dining room, where the desktop used to be before we moved it to a desk in the livingroom) where I wrote for years. Recenlty, I tried writing there a few times with the lap top and found it a bit easier to concentrate. I started playing music again, and drinking either Earl Grey Tea or sipping some wine. If I felt like goofing off a bit, my first choice now became the old standbys of Solitaire or Minesweeper, rather than blog hopping. Turns out you can only waste so much time playing games, but the blogosphere is infinite. *g*

Essentially, I'm finding my way back to old habits of success. Focus is slowly but surely coming back. The main reason for this long winded post is, I came across this article on Anchoring on Suzanne McMinn's site (it's number #3 on the list). Anchoring is a psychological term that refers to conditioning an internal response (ie, writing) with an external trigger (routine/habit). Now I have a name for the process I'm muddling through.

I don't think I'll always need to be anchored in this way, but it will get me back on track. So far, so good. Yesterday evening I wrote 9 pages. The goal this weekend is to finish chapter 3.

Do you have any writing habits that help you?
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8 comments:

raine said...

Do you have any writing habits that help you?

Yup.
Eliminating as many distractions as possible.
No phone calls. No e-mails. Setting aside problems, issues, and other people's issues.
And I'm working on giving up the habit of wondering what I'll do with the bloody ms once it's finished. MAJOR distraction sometimes.

Music and a little wine also helps here. Nature sounds (especially thunderstorms) works, as do some soundtracks (LOTR is a good one), but no lyrics.

And if I'm really serious, no tv...except for taped re-runs of the old Dark Shadows series which seem to work for me, no, I have no idea why, lol!

Stephanie Bose said...

Great stuff, Jaq. Glad to hear you're anchoring and being productive again. What a great feeling, eh? : )

Jaye said...

*no distractions* is the kicker. That's for sure. Focus is the next. Even without distractions, it can be hard to focus at times.

Jaye said...

Hey Bose! See you this Sat at the chapter meeting? I'm not completely out of the woods yet, but getting there.

Jordan Summers said...

Good for you for trying NLP techniques. Tony Robbins talks about anchoring behavior. It's amazing what habits we get into. I think that's why Stephen King discusses making sure he's in the chair at the same time every day. He said it tells his 'muse' it's time to get to work.

Jaye said...

I've been meaning to buy a Tony Robins book, Jordan. What's NLP?

The music thing (earphones on) has been the big help for me. Really sets the mood for the scene/story and keeps me focus.

Stephanie Bose said...

Hi again Jaq! I actually quit TRW... wasn't getting much out of it b/c I don't really write romance. So, won't see you there anymore : (

Jaye said...

Waaaaah! Say it isn't so!! But.... I can sort of see your point. My yearly membership in the RWA came up recently and I sat on that form till the day before deadline. For the most part I think I've learnt more online than at the local chaper. Lots of times things have come up in meetings that are old news to me. I'm sure you've had the same experience.(?) And, as you can tell by my posts, I'm not sure I'm writing 'conventional' romance (I see alot of genre blending/bending in my future)

But, it's nice to meet face to face with other writer. I always feel pumped after each meeting. This might be my last year though.

Guess I better lurk on your blog more often. I'm sure we'll still *see* each other on eharl.

Good luck with your submissions!! (yup, I lurk on Subcare. gg)

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