Friday, January 29, 2016

The Antsy Writer

Let me set up the scenario for you. The children are in bed* and my husband is watching television, playing video game or decompression from his day in some other way. Even the dog has gone to sleep. It's a perfect time to sit down and write, except...I don't end up writing much of anything because I keep getting up to take breaks.

Usually my breaks lead me over to a plate of cookies or bag of chocolate. If I wasn;t meant to finish them off, then why were they lying out there all defenseless and delicious?

If the cookies in my kitchen looked like this they would be easier to avoid. Seriously, I have no clue what that cookie in the back is supposed to be. Are those sesame seeds? Plus someone clearly stepped on the small tan cookie.

I have such a hard time dealing with the rapid thoughts and also fears of writing while sitting. I don't sit well. However, I'm also too cheep to buy one of those fancy treadmill desks that you hear about all the time**. This also goes for a standing desk. Plus I don't have space as is.

My "office" is the kitchen table where I plop down my laptop. Hence the increased desire to eat while writing. That and I love cookies. We do own a desk, but it was over thrown by my children's toys years ago in the playroom war of 2010.

I am always learning how to improve this process. Especially since it's a bit dysfunctional, and not in a quirky evening sitcom kind of way.

Here are some things which help me sometimes and might be of use to you, if you are a fidgety writer.

Apparently a standing desk isn't just good for your posture. You will also be able to shoot blue blazer beams out of your eyes. Clearly, it's worth the investment. 
1. The standing desk: Standing or walking in place does help alleviate some of that pent up hyperactivity in my mind. As I said I am too cheep/space impaired to buy one. Instead I set a box or stack of books on my kitchen counter and then place my laptop on top of it. That way I can make sure it's the correct height. Does it look nice? No, but it works. At least until someone in the family asks for their book back.

2. Get away. Sometimes the only way I can keep myself from wandering around and using cleaning or eating as an excuse to write is to get out of the house. Then the only thing to distract me is people watching and everything else around me. However, the novelty of a new place is often enough to inspire me to write without eavesdropping on the people around me. Oh Edith went to the doctor to get her flu shot yesterday? Fascinating.***

3. Find another way to fidget. As I said earlier I don't like to stay still for long. However, when I can fidget while writing it can sometimes keep me focused. This is one reason why we go through gum so quickly at my house. True, the area around my laptop looks like a dump for discarded gum wrappers. It's also not the most attractive sound in the world. On the other hand I am minty fresh.

How about you? Do you have a hard time sitting down and writing for an extended period of time? If so, what works for you? How to keep focused? What are your thoughts on panda's? Yes, that was a rouge question to see if you're paying attention. And by that I mean that if you touch it, the question will absorb your strength and possibly your super powers.****

I really don't think this picture needs explanation...but since I already started trying I might as well keep going. You can tell they represent superpowers. I mean just look at those impressive action lines. So action, so lined.

-Deborah Moore

Deborah Moore is a guest writer for the Prosers who has a serious addiction to using asterisk to get her points across. See below.

She is also a recurring columnist for Utah Geek Magazine and Group Fitness Instructor

* note I didn't say asleep. That's not really in my hands. You can lead a child to their room and turn off the lights, but you can't make them sleep.
**And by all the time I mean once or twice in a year if you are interested in fitness and probably far less for the rest of the population.
***Come on, could you really avoid listening in on a conversation, no matter how mundane, if one of the people was named Edith?
****geek out moment.