What Needs To Be Done

A few weeks ago someone asked me for advice about her first time at a writing residency. I said that she need to do whatever she needed to do in order to write. Then I realized this was advice one could take home.

I need to finish the fucker. I’ve been working on it some or a lot every day, depending on my work schedule. Sometimes I take Saturday off, not because I’m a good Jew, but because I am exhausted by the book.

I had a friend with kids who rented an office without telling her husband to write in the mornings. She told him she was going into work early. My demands are fewer. I’ve been struggling to find the mental space to write. In order to do that I need to eat regularly, drink water, and take my psychotropic medications every day. So far, so good.

I need to ignore my spouse’s needs, when they are tangential to me. I need to stay on task. I need to write on paper, so the distracting Internet doesn’t reach out to hold me in its glittering arms. I don’t have to respond to texts or emails right away. I need to get my ass in the chair. I need to clear my calendar. I need to get the fuck off the Internet.

How do you get your brain in order?

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3 responses to “What Needs To Be Done

  1. I haven’t figured out how to do that yet. I wonder what life would be like if I did. So far I duck, dodge, and weave with my fingers crossed, hoping nothing takes me away from the work when I’m on a roll. I wonder if my brain has ever been in order?

    • Please don’t think that I actually have my brain in order. I’m merely beating my head against one page of paper, trying to get it to work. All I have to offer is that it works better now than it did this morning.

      I am also ducking, dodging, and weaving. Carry on, my friend!

  2. It ain’t easy. I pretty much have to enter a mental space so I can “live” in the world of whatever I’m working on. Hard to get there. Hard to stay there. Easily interrupted. Easily frustrated. Always in doubt.

    But when it’s happening, that’s satisfying.

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