E. B. White wrote at the living room table, life happening all around him. Maya Angelou rented a hotel room and allowed no one to enter it. A. J. Jacobs writes while walking on a treadmill.
These are the daily routines of 12 famous writers as collected by James Clear, the author of “Atomic Habits”.
What do you do to get yourself into writing mode? What helps you concentrate, and what breaks your concentration? And what do you do to get back into it after a break?
I do most of my writing in the morning sitting at our coffee table in the living room while it’s still dark outside and all is quiet in our home. The pups are all still sleeping and my husband is already off to work. I usually have a cup of coffee and water at the ready to help me power through. Nine times out of ten once my concentration has been broken: usually by a pup needing to go outside… I find that I can’t get back into the writing rhythm. Sometimes, if I find the right quote or something that inspires me I can jump right back in… and that happened today after reading your post. So, thank you!
Yay, that’s a win!
I too love the quiet hours of the morning. It’s so nice to be the only one awake at home, isn’t it? I get up at 4.30 so I’m at my desk at 5 – two hours until I wake the kid and take him to daycare. Coffee is important, too. I pour a cup, take a sip, put it down and forget it exists until I accidentally knock it over. But I somehow cannot start typing without pouring that cup of coffee first (and I drink about a liter of it in the course of the day anyway).
When something else (like the kid having a nightmare) causes me to break away from writing, I rarely have trouble getting back into it, but when it’s going badly and I start doing Duolingo or playing Scrabble online, I lose at least 15 minutes. I’m still looking for a strategy to prevent that.
I write mostly at night it’s usually when I’m most productive to be honest. My current day job actually helps since I work till late in the evening. Music and having the travel channel on actually helps me concentrate the TV really watches me as I listen to music and write away. The only thing that really breaks my concentration are my kids because I do have to tend to them or answer questions that they have but sometimes it’s a good thing because I’d forget to take a break every now and then. I tend to read a few sentences back to basically recreate the scene in my head and see where I’m at and then go from there.