26 March 2013

Age of Distraction

Doing research for my unit on Fahrenheit 451, I ran across a quote from a writer named Cory Doctorow. I wanted information mainly about the culture of distraction that we all live in now, or are at least tempted to live in, and his discipline is informing my daily writing routine.

  When I'm working on a story or novel, I set a modest daily goal - usually a page or two - and then I meet it every day, doing nothing else while I'm working on it. ...Writing a page every day gets me more than a novel a year...Twenty minutes is a short enough interval that it can be claimed from a sleep or meal-break.

I decided to give it a try, so I've been getting up a little bit earlier - scorning the snooze button - and writing a page a day. It hasn't been a week yet, but I've already produced six pages. This is my schedule:

530: Wake up, stumble to the den; read, pray
600: Write
630: Breakfast
700: Prepare for work
740 - 330: School
335 - 830: Family time (play w/ Thing 1 & Thing 2; lug Thing 3 around; converse with my lovely wife, bedtime)
830 - 1030: Edit my first book, blog, have an actual conversation with my wife, sleep

A few years ago I wrote my first book in the wee hours of the morning, and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed that process. The morning is quiet, and my thoughts have time to roam, and my pen has time to slowly create.

It's also a time free from technology.

At school I find myself glued to my computer when I don't have to be. That's the new habit, and if I don't make a time for myself to read, pray, and write - especially a time when all the noise hasn't begun - it won't happen.

The time is there. It's the shaping it for what we really want it for that's difficult.

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