Tag Archives: in the zone

NoNoWriNo

NaNoWriMo 2016 turned into my worst one yet. I managed to write 254 words, then I just couldn’t seem to get anything else done. let’s look at the reasons.

Privacy

I had very little privacy. I can’t write upstairs, because the TV is on, and I’m never alone in the room. I couldn’t write in the kitchen, because it was a high traffic area. And whenever I was able to go down there, it was only for a short time while my daughter was at school.

Time

I worked more than usual this month. I had less private time at home. And if I had time at night, I was usually too tired to concentrate on writing.

Getting in the Zone

Because of the first two issues, I was unable to get into the zone. I couldn’t concentrate like I wanted to.

So, this was not a very good NaNoWriMo. But really, I prefer to write without the pressure. And if I can get my own space and be able to go in there at any time to write, that’ll allow me to relax and write like I want to.

How was your NaNoWriMo? Did you succeed? Let me know in the comments.

Authors Answer 89 – Kick-starting Creativity

I’m in a situation that doesn’t allow me to express my creativity in stories. The lack of privacy, the noise, it’s not ideal. Authors sometimes need something to help them get into the mood to write. They need something to encourage that creativity. This week’s question was asked by our very own Eric Wood!

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 89 – Is there a time, place or activity that helps get your creative juices flowing?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

A time and place: at night, in bed. I have this ritual that seems so counter-intuitive to proper sleeping methods, but I’ll snuggle up in bed, close my eyes, and play a scene from one of my works-in-progress in my head. I’ll imagine it as vividly as I can, working through the dialogue, imagining the looks on the character’s faces, working my way through the emotion involved. I’ll do the same scene multiple nights in a row until I have it basically figured out to a tee, and then I’ll write it. Strangely, you’d think this ritual would cause me to be up at all hours of the night, but it actually helps me fall asleep!

An activity: watching awesome movies or TV shows. I get a lot of inspiration from my favorite shows and movies, and watching certain genres with awesome characters just really puts me in the mood to write even if I don’t necessarily know what I’m going to write about.

Gregory S. Close

Early in the morning, before the clocks have starting ticking and the smell of coffee is fresh in the air… ahhhhhhh.

H. Anthe Davis

I’ve found that as soon as I get up from the computer, get in the car and start driving to work, I have a spike of inspiration.  It’s very annoying, because trying to scribble notes while in traffic would be a road hazard so I have to wait and cling to those ideas so they can’t escape.  The first hour or two while I’m at work also tends to be fertile brain-time, so I always carry a pen and note-paper.  I do a lot of my conceptual editing then, and pop out new ideas.  That’s one of the reasons I like my Day Job.  Sitting at the computer and staring at documents has a way of oppressing me and turning the creative process rote; letting ideas percolate while I’m shelving books has been very helpful.

S. R. Carrillo

Listening to music typically scratches itches that can’t be reached, inspiration-wise. Or a really good, emotive story of any kind – a book, a movie… Also, some bad ones. It makes me wanna write something I feel might be better (even if it, in reality, isn’t haha).

Paul B. Spence

Listening to music usually does it for me. I also need to be focused but relaxed.

D. T. Nova

Going for a walk beforehand often helps. Listening to music can as well.

If my mind’s already full of ideas but too boggled to focus, I just need to do anything that helps me relax.

Jean Davis

I’m usually working at my day job when ideas strike. Thankfully that’s only a walk to the next room away from my writing chair where I can quickly jot ideas down or quickly get a scene written before getting back to the bill paying job. The shower is another typical place where my brain decides to get to work. It’s not quite as easy to jot things down there though. Morning and afternoon are my most creatively productive times.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I’m a night person, so I’m at my most creative in the evenings. This is problematic sometimes because I also have a job that starts in the early morning. I also like to put on some music or TV show in the background. Right now I’m watching Twilight Zone episodes.

Eric Wood

My ultimate thinking spot comes in the form of running the quiet back roads. I think so many different thoughts in the 40-60 minutes I spend on each run. I think of everything from my next blog post to my next story to how I could run better to what will be for supper. Running doesn’t quiet my mind, it organises the thoughts within. It’s how I defragment my brain.

Jay Dee Archer

I have to be alone. I need to have all distractions removed. If I’m out for a walk by myself, sometimes passively watching my surroundings helps me think about the plot, even though I often zone out while I do that. But I also find that I think very well in the shower. Ideally, if I’m in front of my computer, I need silence. There must not be any sound to distract me. And I need to have a good 15 to 30 minutes to focus. And my web browser must be closed!

How about you?

To get your creativity going, what do you need to do? What places or times help you create? Let us know in the comments below.

Authors Answer 79 – Concentration Killers

In an ideal world, authors would be able to concentrate in any situation, any place. But it’s not ideal, and there are situations that completely kill our concentration. But everyone is different. Everyone has a different tolerance for noise, cold, heat, light, and so on.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 79 – What are the worst things that can break your concentration while writing?

Jean Davis

Having written through raising two children,  I can consider a lot of annoying sounds white noise, but video games, especially those with loud background noises and my husband playing guitar seem to be the worst offenders for things I have a hard time blocking out. Thank goodness for earplugs.

H. Anthe Davis

Just about anything can break my concentration when writing.  Noises like people talking in the hall, cars passing in the street, music…  I wear headphones the whole time I write, but I don’t listen to anything, because even at low volumes I get distracted by it.  I don’t need absolute silence, but I’m sure I couldn’t write at a coffee-shop, and I close all unrelated windows on my computer so that visual things can’t distract me either.  Heck, I write with the lights off so it feels more like I’m in a cave.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

By and large, the thing that breaks my concentration the worst is when people start talking to me. I can write (or do other work) through music, through background noise from a television show…hell, someone could be doing heavy construction right next door and it wouldn’t bother my concentration at all. But when someone (*cough*daughterandhusband*cough*) starts talking to me, my entire train of thought goes right out the window. They don’t mean to send my mind tumbling off into nothingness, of course, but it’s definitely the one thing that destroys my concentration the most often.

The only other main thing that I can think of is emotional distress. That sounds really dramatic, but I mean, like, if I have a really horrible day at work (say, my boss yells at me for something) I’ll find it impossible to write until I’ve cheered up. This doesn’t happen all that often because I’ve become much more accustomed to shrugging off the meaningless stuff that I can’t do anything about, but every now and then I’ll have a fight with someone or something bad will happen to someone I love, and it just completely destroys my ability to concentrate on writing.

S. R. Carrillo

I’m easily distracted by music. I listen to songs with lyrics by musicians I love when I am writing. But one always makes me think of the other. They’re better when paired together.

Paul B. Spence

Things that add stress. The creative spark often needs relaxation to ignite. Needing to eat is an annoyance also. What? I just ate yesterday!

D. T. Nova

Headaches and allergies are worse than nearly any external distraction.

Anyone having an actual conversation within earshot can is more likely to break my conversation than most other sounds. I also have trouble ignoring any sound I can’t identify.

Allen Tiffany

My wife reminding me that I have other family projects that are overdue.

Eric Wood

The worst things to break my concentration while writing are my kids and a baseball game. Sometimes I sit down to write in the morning, but the kids have different plans for me. “Watch this, dad.” “Dad, watch me.” “Dad, come here.” “Dad, I need your help.” So what would be 45 minutes of writing turns into an hour and a half or more. Though I do love writing, I suppose I love my kids more.

Elizabeth Rhodes

The internet tends to be my worst distraction. I’ll write a few sentences and then check social media and message boards. Small wonder I make little progress unless I write on paper, because I’ll fall for the internet trap every time.

Gregory S. Close

I’m easily distracted, so it doesn’t take much to distract me from  – HEY, The Flash is on!

Jay Dee Archer

My personality type (INTJ) is generally the kind that needs quiet to concentrate. When I’m concentrating on something, I don’t like interruptions. That means anyone talking to me, TV, phone calls, and so on. The internet is also bad for my concentration. While I’m good at multitasking, and I can easily blog while the TV is on or people are talking to me, I don’t need to get into the zone for that. But when I’m writing fiction, everything needs to be shut out of my mind or I can’t get any kind of good writing done. So, I can’t write whenever I can hear individual conversations. However, I have managed to write while in McDonald’s. If there’s a buzz of conversation around me, and I don’t hear individual conversations, I have no problem.

How about you?

What kills your concentration? Let us know in the commments below.

In the Zone, but Starting Writing Is the Problem

The A to Z Challenge has been a wonderful thing. In fact, I’ve gotten more writing done with this than I did with NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo. Actually, in the three Nanos and two Camp Nanos, I wrote less in all of those combined than I have in the A to Z Challenge.  I’d say it’s been a huge success, and it’s not finished.

You see, I’ve been able to write between 250 and 500 words in only fifteen minutes.  My latest ones have been over 400 words and take me a mere fifteen minutes to write. If I wrote for an hour, I could easily surpass the NaNoWriMo daily targets.

I’ve been finding that once I start writing, I just keep going and going without a pause.  I get in the zone.  The dialogue flows easily it appears. Maybe that’s my strong suit. It looks like I’ll have to write as much as I can of dialogue and whatever I can of narrative, then go back to edit more action in.

My big problem is getting started.  Before I start writing each part of the challenge, I sit there for fifteen or thirty minutes trying to just get the first word out.  I know what I want to write, but the procrastinator in me won’t let me start. But once I do, I have no problems finishing it.  I just need to get around that delayed start.