Finding Stillness Amidst The World – or, Writing A Novel In The Family Room

handsMy writing studio is coming. Really. Shortly after my first 6-figure royalty cheque. But until that happy moment arrives – in fact, to make it arrive – I must write where I am. And where I am is in the middle of the living room.

Most writers start out this way. I’ve done the research, I know. Most of us start out in vastly less-than-ideal circumstances and find innovative ways to work with what we have. I have an allergy to early rising, so I often write late. And often I write when other family members are right there, next to me, doing their own thing. Which as like as not involves music, laughter, conversation, or all three at once.

That is when I pull out my secret weapon. The weapon I now give to you, free, gratis. This amazing tool has done more for the beginning of my writing career than all the inspirational quotes and instructive how-to books and cups of coffee of the past 4 years. Well, maybe the coffee helped more. But this little tool is a wonderful help, for sure. When I must concentrate on my characters and dive deep into storyland in the midst the hustle and bustle of the outside world, I simply turn on the silence.

White noise, actually. I made myself a 10 minute track of white noise – full spectrum, a little heavy on the midtones and not so sharp in the trebles, just perfect for filling my ears and erasing any voice that might try to break in to my reveries. I just slip on a good set of over the ear headphones, fire up the white noise, and set it to endless repeat. Voila! I am able to disappear from the world around me and focus on the world within.

Now it’s yours. I’m giving it to you – here, take it, use it. With this simplest of gifts you now have freedom from the madding crowd, and all the auditory space you need to dream your masterpiece. Or at least your first novel. The one that gets the royalty cheques rolling in.

Published in: on July 6, 2013 at 10:50 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love your attitude! Writers can’t wait around for the perfect writing conditions to manifest themselves. We have to work with what we have.

    • So true. I still have to regularly break myself free from the ‘perfect-moment’ syndrome. The best time to write is now. In fact, to get a little mystical, ‘now’ is the only time I have. And when the motivation fails me, I can always fall back on a schedule.

  2. I usually put Pandora on and zone out. I have 2 very active little boys (toddlers, can you imagine?) so I usually give my husband the ‘Save me’ look, lol. I just might accept your free gift, though 🙂

    • Yes! I know that look very well. If a family member gets insistent and joggles my shoulder to get my attention I take my headphones off and – in all seriousness – ask, “Who’s bleeding? What’s burning?” If they give the wrong answer, something definitely starts burning.

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