During the first year of the pandemic, I was more prolific in my writing than at any other time in my life. There were no pressures from the world to DO something, and no expectations to BE anywhere. We were forced to stay home, and there was time, time, and more time to be completely focussed. And I was indeed focussed.
It was a lesson for me. I mean, I've always known I need time, space, and quiet for the creativity and focus to write. But I had no idea how creative I could actually be when given that time in large chunks.
I think I've been looking for that kind of scenario ever since.
However, the thing about a pandemic is that it's not usual. In real life - dare I say normal life? - distractions are a given. But not all distractions are the same.
The doorbell rings, dinner needs to be made, and Grandma! Grandma! Grandma! in my ears if I'm trying to write while spending time with my favourite small people, are little distractions that niggle and interrupt.
For about a year now, The Cowboy and I have been dealing with the big distraction of moving: sorting, purging, packing, repairing, and staging one house to sell, while designing, building, furnishing, moving, and unpacking into the new house.
Pretty tough to concentrate on what writing projects make my heart sing when I'm consumed with whether our wall corners should be rounded, squared, or chamfer, or what to do with all the doilies Grandma made me over the years. These seem like small decisions. But hundreds of small decisions like these add up to thousands and, well ... that's a lot for one brain to process. Not a lot of room for writerly creativity.
In all the busyness and what seemed like too many things to do at once, I found me scolding myself on many occasions. Focus, girl! Just focus. Getting one job done at a time eventually gets them all done.
My ideal writing day would be to get up early - 6 a.m. - and head straight to my desk, with my coffee, to write for a couple of hours before breakfast. I'm most creative first thing in the morning, and my new library, with the big windows that look out on the sunrise, fosters creativity. I can be focussed then while the house is still quiet.
That would be my ideal. But as we all know, real life won't always be like that. I hope I'll be disciplined enough to leave my devices in another room and keep computer notifications turned off. I hope others in my house will honour the rule that when my library door is closed that means I can't be interrupted.
This new home in a new place inspires me to start a new routine with regular rituals and specific hours to focus on writing. It's a new season. What better time to simply begin.
Photo by Alexa at Pixabay
Joy is loving her new home in the country with The Cowboy, where distractions still live but somehow seem not so threatening. Find more of her joy-infused writing at Scraps of Joy.