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Making the most of the evening, getting stuff written between dinner and bedtime, means cutting out the faffing. You know, all the getting ready, just going to check this or do that first…  Faffing gets between me and productivity so cutting it is important.

  1. I write on my laptop, not my desktop.
    My desktop’s in my office and the office is where I work. I need to avoid work-related distractions to get anything written.
  2. I write in my special chair, wrapped in my special blanket if it’s cold.
    The chair is comfortable and placed so that I can’t see the TV or look out the window.
  3. I plug my headphones in and listen to music.
    I need music that I like, but not love, so that I can, to a great extent, filter it out. It’s a careful balance: music’s that’s too good, or too engaging takes me out of the  story and into the music. Not productive.
  4. The last step is closing down any open web browsers.
    My special chair is not for research but only for writing. It’s a rule.

Despite the fact that I want to write, sometimes my mind skitters away from the task. If I remove as many distractions and barriers as I can, my mind is forced to focus and get down to business. That’s my theory, anyway. So far, it’s working.

I’ll be sitting on my special chair a lot over the coming weekend because I have a commission* for a story and want to write the first draft ASAP so that I have time to get it reviewed.

* Yes, a commission! I won a competition and the prize is a commission. I found this out almost exactly a month after having found out that I’d sold my first story. It’s been a a corker of a month! I’ve been published online and by the end of the year, two anothologies will feature my stories. Oh, and I signed up to read at the next Illicit Ink event. Corker. Of. A. Month. (I also collected three rejections. The universe hasn’t suddenly gone entirely out of whack: rejections continue.)

Hamish MacFarlane liked this post