Sunday, September 30, 2007

October Challenge: Get Out of The House

Have you ever noticed yourself saying "Today, I write" and then you decide to do dishes first, then watch that movie you've got by the TV, and catch up on laundry, then you have to make dinner... and before you know it, you've gotten sidetracked and written nothing?

Or, have you ever found yourself thinking you ought to write something, but not knowing what? So, instead of parking in front of your notebook/computer, you wander around the house doing other things. You're waiting for inspiration to hit, right? No use in sitting down before you know what you're going to write about.

I've found, time and again, that writing at home isn't always as productive for me. So many distractions and other things to do that, despite my best intentions, I don't get as much written as I planned to - or, I don't get anything written.

This month, in honor of the writing marathon on the 20th, my challenge to you is to get out of the house and do your writing somewhere else. Like the writing marathon, your job is to go someplace public, sit down, and get your pen a-moving. Before you start, set a time requirement. It can be as short or long as you like, but you have to continuously write during that time.

If you're the type of person who has a bunch of story ideas written down, this is the perfect time to take some with you and spend your writing time on those. Not inspired? Too bad. Start by describing your surroundings if you like, but you have to be writing.

There are a ton of places that can work for this exercise. I'm partial to coffeeshops, fast food restaurants, or a picnic table on the riverwalk. Back when I still worked in the kitchen, sometimes I'd sit at the bar when my shift was over and do a few pages in my notebook. Pick whatever place seems appropriate and comfortable to you. However, on behalf of frustrated waitstaff everywhere, please do not pick a busy restaurant for your writing time.

Now, if you've got friends who write, you get bonus points for going out in a group. Just make sure you all are actually writing, not just chatting. You all can even do some writing marathon-style sharing after you've written for the designated time(s).

Also, you should feel free to write at many different places during one "marathon." Spend fifteen minutes at a coffeeshop, then fifteen at the bookstore next door, then fifteen at the bar across the street. Maybe see how much distance you can cover, 'cause we all could stand to walk a bit more, right?

All right, got your notebook? Got your pen? Car keys? Good. Now, go.

1 comment:

Mishell said...

Okay, okay, okay. Between you and Jenny I just can't catch a break. I've been trying desperately to become a hermit, but I realize now that with friends like you two, I'll never achieve my goal. I know it's late notice, but I think I'll probably show up tomorrow. I don't know if I'll write, but I want to see the gang. I guess it's enough that I'll be giving my computer chair a rest from my ample posterior.