I’ve spent this week trying to get my focus back. It’s been a struggle, but I thought that if I have the Rhino a better-maintained habitat, he might be more amenable to working his magic next month.
I have discovered over the years that while my thoughts might be disordered at times, my work space can’t be. If it’s not clean, then I have a really hard time working. Maybe it’s a good thing, then, that writers (like me) are prone to anxiety and depression, and that my response to this condition is ritual cleaning?
Routine is good, but I can’t work in the same space every single day. I try to work at my desk (below) but sometimes a fresh perspective help. My other favorite spots include a local Panera (mainly because of the ginger peach tea, hot chocolate, and pastries) and a study carol at the local library. The two most important things are that there be a power source for the laptop, and room to spread out my notes.
- Rhino fuel.
- Noise cancelling headphones. I like these. I put them on even without music sometimes just because they make the world go away.
- Beverage of choice, preferably caffeinated.
- Outlines, character profiles, and pretty much anything for the story that has been produced via typewriter
- Typewriter in question (this one is the Sterling)
- To do list
- Tunes. Since I’m writing for the 1920s, I’m currently listening to the 1920s Radio Network, the soundtracks for seasons 1 & 2 of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, the Metropolis Soundtrack, and a selection of Amazon playlists full of instrumental movie mood music.
- Backup. This is a 32gb flash drive I picked up for $10. It can hold all of the documents on my computer and most of the pictures. I’ve also got two web-based backups.
- Writing device of choice. Still using the laptop with Scrivener for pretty much everything.
Additionally, a few days ago while stuck on a story, I made a list of everything I’m working on (color coded by genre) and made a list of where it’s going and what needs to be done to get it there:
If you can’t read my handwriting, the header reads Story, Status, Estimated Length, Hangups, and Notes. The status section lists whether the story is a work in progress, a concept under development, or a completed novel that is in revision. The green marks are status bars showing the percentage of completion. The notes section is a numbered list of tasks that will help me overcome the hangups listed in the preceding column.
I did eventually enter this into Excel, but I’m rather fond of the color coding and the staus bars.
Anyone else doing some serious Rhino herding this week?