Stephen King wrote in his memoir/writing book

On Writing   that he was not a big fan of writer’s retreats. The idea of getting a lunch basket delivered to an idyllic cabin in the woods just seemed a little too idyllic to him. There’s something to be said for going to dentist’s appointments and running errands, to being part of the hustle and tussle of life. But that book came out in 2000. Although it seems like we were already a pretty busy and plugged in world then, those days seem positively quaint compared to today. (For a fascinating take on why the pace of technology is exponentially speeding up, please read

The Singularity is Near  )

For now, I give you:

 

The Top Three Cures For Multi-Tasking Malaise

 

  1. Meditation.

Even just five minutes – actually, even just one minute or two—could help you to connect to your internal world, rather than the world of devices, insipid “news” items, 89 appointments per hour, work for money, family demands, and other pulls on your writerly brain, from the meaningless to the meaningful. Meditating doesn’t have to be mysterious. Just get comfortable (lie back and get comfortable as Robin Byrd used to say), close your eyes and focus on your breath. Put your attention on your inhalation, your exhalation…and if your mind should wander (as it will) just come back to the breath.

 

  1. Tune in to Desire

This trick is an oldie but a goody and it worked for me just this past August, when overwhelmed by life and its many demands I simply couldn’t summon up the brain power to focus on my writing. So I pulled out the old marble covered notebook and asked myself on the page, what do you really want to write right now? It’s amazing how, your unconscious will tell you the truth when asked. Do as you are told and write what you really want. If just for a day, to get your juices flowing.

 

  1. Unplug Gradually

If you put down the iPhone before bed and read, chillax or do other fun things (!), I promise, your dreams will be much more fruitful, even if you don’t remember them. If you limit your own “screen time” by day just as you would a seven year old’s, you will find that some of that jumpiness in your brain settles down. You may not notice it today or tomorrow or the next day. But gradually, some of that 21st Century idiocy you are suffering from will be cured, and you’ll be able to focus once again!

 

And when in doubt:

Try my app, for when you are on the go and can’t put down your device but still are burning to write: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bang-the-keys/id412669850?mt=8

0 Kudos
About Unabashedly Bookish: The BN Community Blog
Unabashedly Bookish features new articles every day from the Book Clubs staff, guest authors, and friends on hot topics in the world of books, language, writing, and publishing. From trends in the publishing business to updates on genre fiction fan communities, from fun lessons on grammar to reflections on literature in our personal lives, this blog is the best source for your daily dose of all things bookish.

Advertisement

Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Categories