Slow and Steady Might Win This Race

I won’t write tonight much because frankly, I’ve been sitting in the same chair since 7:30 this morning and I’m not in the most comfortable of clothes so I’m really looking forward to going home, throwing on the sweats and curling up on the couch with my cat. But today’s the first day since Sunday that I’ve been able to work on my NaNoWriMo writing, and I cranked out another day’s worth of word count. (I’m only 5,000 behind now, but who’s counting?)

If this year’s NaNo teaches me anything, it’s definitely in which environments I’m actually productive.

I can go to a coffee shop, plug in the laptop, and open my Word file containing my MS, but with all the clanking and talking and noise going on I can’t seem to focus on the project at hand, even if I’ve got my novel’s playlist blaring in my ears. Even having a writing buddy at the same table isn’t enough motivation for me to concentrate, although I do often wish it were.

I don’ t know how I’ll do in a library environment, but I’ll have a chance to find out this Saturday at the Cedar Park Library write in. Hopefully because of the nature of such a place, it’ll be more conducive to the writing process and I can really get some work done. If it is, who’s to say in post-NaNo days I won’t head off to the branch of the Austin Public Library that’s within walking distance of the house (although the way there is notably lacking in sidewalks on which to tread) and repeat the phenomenon.

At home, I can write if I’ve got a movie on the TV or Netflix playing on my smartphone, and although I like to tell myself that I’m not watching what’s in the background, my ears are still listening. If they hear something interesting or a favorite part coming up, then my brain tunes in and suddenly my fingers are idle and I’m not writing a thing. It’s much better if I shut off the boob tube, turn on that same playlist and let go. Sure, my cat will peer over the edge of my laptop to see what I’m up to, or stomp across my lap looking for attention, but I find that a most favorable bonus.

Last but not least, hanging out at work after hours is definitely optimal. Everyone’s gone home, I can shut down my email (and Facebook too, if I’m really wanting to work), crank up the tunes and perhaps be even more productive than I am at home. I attribute that to the dual monitor set up, which is really nice when you need to check on something and you don’t have all that alt-tabbing to do to go back and forth.The keyboard’s at the right height, too, which is so very *ahem* handy.

So, if I can remember these few things, perhaps I can, for once, keep the momentum going after December 1st rolls around. School will be done, I’ll have sung my heart out for both choirs and be on hiatus, and I’ll have my nights back. I know at least one person who’d be cheering with me if I did.

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Author: Nikki B.

IT Ops Girl Friday by day, wannabe Writer by night who's attempting to finish just one of her many novels. Follow the saga on Wordpress!

2 thoughts on “Slow and Steady Might Win This Race”

  1. I write well in coffee shops–I can tune out the noise–and I do well with music in the background, but, like you, I don’t concentrate well with the TV. I guess it’s my natural obsession with story, even when it’s not mine. Libraries are too quiet for comfort, at least when I’m writing alone. I hope you enjoy the write-in. With all that Nano energy, ought to be a success.

  2. I haven’t tried a coffee shop lately, but there are Starbucks abounding all over the place. These days, it’s become about the time more than the place. I’ll be trying out the library for a short time this weekend if I can; I’m making sure I have my headphones so I can enjoy my playlist and not bother others. Wish me luck, Kathy (and thanks for commenting)! ~Nikki

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