The other night at our meeting, our guest speaker, Patrick Glancy, talked about ways to be more productive. One of the things he mentioned was the steps we each take to get into our "creative" mind - that place where we can sit and create, push aside the doubt demons and worries and just write. He gave each person who was at the meeting a 9 minute CD to help us get into that creative space so we can block everything else out and get down to work. I haven't listened to mine yet, but I plan to. Soon. (Maybe today.) Those of you who did listen to yours, what do you think? Did it help you get to a creative place?
I've been thinking about this a lot this week - this idea of the rituals or steps we each take to shut down our analytical mind and get into our creative one. I would imagine for anyone who has little kids running around the house, this is a hard thing to do, which explains why I don't get a lot of writing done during the day and do most of it at night. I find it very hard to get to that creative place when I'm constantly distracted or interrupted or just plain thinking about the ten-thousand other things I have to do today (like call the Y and find out when DS#1's bball game is tomorrow, or drive to Jefferson to take care of chapter bank stuff, or feed the kids and take the youngest to kindergarten and run to the grocery store because we're out of milk and figure out how the heck the youngest is going to get his nap in and intercept fighting and screaming and jumping on my new bed...) When asked, one of our guests the other night said she does something until it doesn't work anymore, then she tries something else, and that's how she avoids writer's block. I suppose we each do that in different ways, but I'm curious what your ritual is right now? Does it change? Is it primarily the same? Do you tweak it when you're under pressure or feeling stressed or when the words just aren't flowing?
I hate to admit it out loud, but my ritual is like this:
8pm - Put the kids to bed
8:30 - Flop on the couch and lay there for 20 minutes while I try to think about nothing.
8:50 - Pick up the computer, open my wip and stare at the screen.
9:00 - Open spider solitaire and play until I win (I'm compulsive)
Whenever that happens - start working on the wip.
Yeah, not so good, eh? But it works for me. For some reason I need a bit of down time between when the kids to go to bed and when I start working to get that analytical mind turned off and the creative one in gear. And for some reason mindless games of solitaire seem to do that for me. Now. In a week, that might not be the case. I also use that hour to talk to the DH, half-listen to the TV, sometimes IM with friends and just veg. Has it made me productive? I don't know. I'm editing now, so it's hard to judge productivity at this stage except to say that I'm making progress. And I wrote 2K new words the other night (no idea if I'll keep them or toss them - we'll see when I get the first round of these new edits out of the way), so yeah, I consider that progress.
What about you? Are you able to move from one activity - like your day job or your kids or what have you - to writing without any problem or do you have a transitional phase you go through to get into that creative mind? And once you're there, can you go back and forth or once you come out of that creativity place (like to answer the phone) do you have trouble getting back to it?