I have been reading a lot lately, but my writing has stalled….A LOT.
Where do you like to write? Do you write in silence? Do you write outside? Do you leave your house to write?
In the book Deep Work by Cal Newport, he says one of the best ways to write is to go somewhere away from yourself. He doesn’t word it like that. But..that’s how I interpret it.
So, go write in a place you’ve never been before. He uses JK Rowling as one example, she went to some fancy ass hotel to finish writing one of her Harry Potter books. I suppose I could go rent a cheap air b&b to write.
Would inspiration suddenly dawn on me?
When you write, do you have a bunch of tabs open? Do you have your phone next to you? Does your mind drift?
Cal Newport also talks about something called attention residue.
I think it’s so important to know what that term is, so I put it in BOLD! BOOOOOLLDDD!
As humans, we cannot multi-task. That is a myth, disproven by modern neuroscience. Your brain is wired to concentrate on one task at a time. So, when we, say, start writing a wordpress blog,then quickly check our email, we leave little traces of attention residue floating around in our head from that last task.
So your brain is writing a wordpress, but that wordpress is being poked by your gmail inbox folder. Your WordPressing isn’t operating at fully capacity.
This concept is really interesting to me, and makes total sense. I have largely stopped checking my phone at work- I mean, I check it at breaks or when I have nothing to do…but I used to check every beep and boop that emanated from that addiction machine. Every time, I felt it was tougher to get back into the rhythm of working….
Because it IS harder to get back into the groove, when your brain is being pulled in too many different directions!
I feel more awake now. I read more, I concentrate better, I feel my confidence is up a bit (but, that’s always a struggle with me. ugh.)
So……I learned all this new stuff about my brain, now what? Where should I write? Or should I ease back into things, and just write a blog every day, even if I feel like I got nothin’ to say? I want to write a full length book, but about WHAT? I used to think I knew. I used to feel more connected to my writing. Then, I got all distracted.
I feel like I am starting to shed the layer of distraction and anxiety that has covered my brain. So, we’ll see…
PS I recommend reading Deep Work. Or view one of his talks on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD7dXfdDPfg