I am a creature of habit. Based on previous posts, you may think this is due to some undiagnosed Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Nah. It’s purely a matter of protection from myself.
90% of the time,
my brain is not fully engaged in the moment.
It’s trying to recall the vivid dreams of how my protagonist is going to progress/survive/out-fart a demon. (Wha? Not every fantasy battle requires blood loss.) I like waking up in that mid-realm between reality and dreams. I’m totally thrilled to be able to fire up the laptop and launch straight into wherever my dreams are directing the story.
I’m not so fine when the toothpaste is not in its bucket on the right side of the sink, one full arm extension and a shoulder-twitch from my reach.
That’s how I get a mouthful of zit cream.
The resulting tirade inevitably includes, “Who messed with the Zohan?” That leads to a spiral of quoting Adam Sandler movies, which then devolves into singing Adam Sandler songs, and then bottoms out with “The World’s Longest Pee.”
Gone is the GENIUS of the dream.
Left behind is the giggling pubescent me, who would much rather do anything except work. My morning
should unfold thusly:
Phase 1: Wake, Potty, Beastie Out, Coffee, Beastie Fed, Laptop ready
Phase 2: Dream Dump (as in words, people, not poo)
Phase 3: E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Blog Troll (1-hour on these, no more)
Phase 4: Re-read/Edit work from previous day, Write, Write, Write
I am super crankypants when any part of that goes awry, because I know my weakness is doing anything but that which I am supposed to do.
Case: Yesterday, birds decided to make a nest in the light over my front door. One of the glass panes is gone, giving the poo-bombers a nice cozy space to make a home…until I turn on said lights and hardboil their young. This seemingly minor distraction ended up wasting two hours of research on replacement fixtures.
Were I still in a corporate setting, going MIA from work for two hours would result in a Performance Improvement Plan, also known as Step 1 in Firing an Employee. The accountability doesn’t change simply because I am my own employer.
Working from home requires rituals.
Rituals lead to habits that result in productivity.
What sort of things are guaranteed to derail your writing habit? Which of those things are within your control to keep from breaking the ritual?