Right now, this task, this blank page seems daunting. Writing for an hour with no direction is terrifying. That said, I know as I write this will get easier. As far back as this morning while driving into work (440a), I was thinking about what this entry was going to be about. I know I had something profound but as happens, I got busy with my day, interacting with clients, solving crisis after crisis and, I lost whatever profound topic I was going write about to the ether. It must not have been that profound if I lost it the minute I entered my place of business. There’s an idea. I can share some of my writing process and perhaps give a character introduction or two.
When I say I sit in front of a blank page (pictured below), I am not exaggerating. It is completely blank save for a blinking cursor, expectantly waiting for content to flow behind it. The software that allows me to do this is called Write! While it has other features such as panels for document organization, progress, word count, spell check, etc. It’s most useful feature is the ability to shift into distraction free writing. That’s what this blank page is. Nothing but a cursor waiting for inspiration. I use this mode to help me write because, I get easily distracted by the pretty lights, notifications, and events constantly happening when working on a computer.
“Oooo. Some notification needs my attention. Let me shift my focus to take care of ….”
“Wait. Wait. Now I have an incoming email that needs my attention. Let me get to that.”
“Now I have a discord message waiting from a friend. I need to respond to them now. They’re waiting.”
Does all that sound familiar? Of course it does. Anyone that has experience in current technology combats the immediacy of many digital events happening at once. Write! allows me to filter out the excess noise of technology and focus on the task at hand, writing. Personally, it allows the words to flow without getting distracted by the various shiny things. It’s a tool that a recommend if you are having trouble focusing on the writing process. That still does not alleviate the fear of a blank page, but at least I don’t have as many distractions.
So, Write! is one tool I use to aid my in my journey of writing. Another, is music. For an unknown reason music helps me write. I supposed its another tool to help me focus. It tunes out the sounds and noise of the world and, allows me to focus on that blinking cursor waiting for content to appear. Noises and happenings around me can be a huge distraction. It’s why I can’t write in a Starbucks unless I have head phones on. I’m too interested everything else going on around me.
“What’s he ordering?
“That snippet of conversation sounds interesting. Let me try and put some context to it.”
“I wonder if that barista got that persons name right.
“Oooo. There’s something interesting happening outside the window. I wonder whats going on”
All these thoughts and more run through my mind when I’m out and about. I am constantly observing the world around me, trying to make sense of it. That takes my focus away from the task at hand. So, here I sit in my apartment, music going, in distraction free writing mode, writing today’s entry and, I’m not sure where to go from here. I’m not sure where to take the entry. I’ve gone through the primary tools that aid me in putting pen to page. What else about this writing process is relevant? I know a common question some writers get is about music. The question goes something like this: Does music genre vary from scene to scene. Some writers will say no. Some will say they don’t listen to music at all. Others yet will say yes, genre of music does matter from scene to scene. Personally, I have found certain genres have energy in them that helps the writing process. For example, the music I listen to while writing this kind of entry could be anything. It doesn’t matter as long as the outside world is being muted. While writing creatively, world building, or anything related to the fantastical, generally instrumental music is personally best. A drama, death, or romantic scene? Music that fits the mood. A fight scene must– must have energy to it. Years ago, I remember writing fight scenes to anime music scores. There’s a weight and energy to those scores that allowed words to flow from my fingers. Some of the best writing I have ever done has been accompanied by the appropriate music.
There’s just something about music that allows me to write. I’m sitting here trying to describe that unknown musical force that spurs my fingers forward. The best descriptor I have in my personal lexicon is ineffable which, is almost a nonstarter because, it literally means too great to be described by words. There is just something about music that speaks to my soul and allows me to access a creative vein in my person I normally have limited access to.
My writing timer just finished. I must confess, that was not as painful as I thought it would be once I got going. I hope this gave you some insight into my process. I have laundry to move from the dryer.
Till next we meet!