Blog Post #2 9/7/15
As I sat at my desk trying to read How Can You Create Fiction When Reality Comes to Call (Carolyn Chute) and 6 Ways to Be a Hemingway-Level Productive Badass (Drake Baer) my 2 year old is having me look at all the treasures she is finding in the basement. We cleaned out many of her toys as well as my 8 year olds toys and have stuck them in boxes until we find a better home. My eyes continue to read as my mind starts to think of local donations for the books. I quickly realized I read a whole paragraph without comprehending a word. My husband yells down the steps “babe if you don’t hurry up we will be late for Labor Day party”. Oh no the eggs did I add the paprika? Did I icing the cupcakes? Again that paragraph read once more with little comprehension. Why is it so difficult to finish two short articles when life is happening around me? I finish the readings, but blog will have to wait until later, when I can focus.
Back to blog and the list of disturbances is overwhelming as I hand write them. The steps to become a better writer seem to be a little more difficult to pan out. A little background on just the high priority distractions I can only assume I will face not only in this semester, but in all future endeavors. I am obviously a proud mommy of two young children. They have school, after activities, I am on the PTA and my son does sports. I need to be present at all of them because that is the type of mother I choose to be. Running a busy cardiac practice for Penn and being a jack of all trades I am normally at work no less than 45+ hours a week. Now my lovely large family, with extended cousins, aunts, uncles all inviting themselves to your time without a question becomes very overwhelming. For example, as I am sitting pool side enjoying the kids, my one cousin comes up to me and says “what day in September you want to do a Mary K party”. Huh? Mary K? I think you need actual friends for that kind of thing. She is a new consultant so being person I am, I pull out my planner and fit it in between PTA meetings, open house, football practice, etc. The list goes on believe me. The person who keeps me together in it all and supports me through everything is my loving husband Kyle. Although he supports me, it does not mean he is not interference in my mind. I like to think I am a good wife to him, but between schedules as they lay I have not made much time for us recently. TIME!!! This is going to be my biggest distraction. Not enough time in the day to be everything to everybody.
To the steps of becoming a better writer:
Step One: Time that oh so important word. I need to make sure I have enough time to sit and think. Not being the type to just “wing it” and throw something together. I need to know I have at least an hour to work.
Step Two: My desk. This is the spot I normally write bills and plan my family’s week. Arrange transportation for the kids of who will do what, and will I be done work in time to make this or that. I have found through these last two writing assignments, that I like the quiet and dim lights. Starring at wood panels that were most likely original in the house built in 1947. Though the space is not so welcoming, the words seem to flow more easily than being on the main floor of the house with TV’s, tablets and kids needing my attention.
Step Three: Coffee is another key ingredient in making magic happens with me. Well for that fact making anything happen at 6:30pm after a long holiday weekend. The warmth and taste are a great sensation when I need to pause from my writing. I think I am going to keep this.
Step Four: I feel OCD is a little problem of mine. I cannot open the computer until my coffee is in reach of my right hand; the color paperclips are in the correct color coded compartment, my note book, pen and reference material to the left, pencil sharpener and tape to the left but towards the top of my desk. All within arm’s reach when I need it. If I move something out of place I have observed myself stop mid-sentence/reading to move it back to where it belongs. Once it is there I am chugging along again.
Step Five: Brainstorming/writing my thoughts on paper. I think that when I write this way, it goes back to how I was taught in school, before all the fancy electronics. My thoughts seem to organize themselves on paper, in contrast to when I just type I seem to re-read every paragraph 5 times before I finish.
Step Six: Personally I have not used this technique yet, but I sure plan to. The electronic devices aka smart boxes we have are amazing. I could be washing dishes, doing wash, or watching TV, get the greatest idea for something, sit down at the computer and forget it all. I plan on using a voice recorder and the voice app on my phone to capture these ideas that seem to exit my consciousness as soon as I think of them. I do my grocery list on my phone, so I figure it should work for writing as well.
All in all there are so many practices those great writers of our time and times before us use to create amazingly, captivating pieces. I hope mine work out as well as some of theirs. All done before 7 pm bedtime routine. Kids need bath, brush teeth, books bedtime. On to what moves me.