NaNoWriMo Prep: Train For Unideal Conditions

Every now and then, I go to a local park and write at one of the picnic tables closest to the playground, especially on a weekend when the place will be packed. I will sit there and write for at least an hour before retreating to somewhere else.

I don't do this because I like the sounds of kids screaming and laughing and running around, but because I hate the noises in general. Of all the things going on in the background that could possibly derail my writing, a playground full of kids running and screaming and being sticky all over the place is my epitome.

So if I can write there, I can write anywhere.

That's the point.

It's invaluable to learn what we need around us as writers to be as productive as possible, and it is also invaluable to be able to be productive anywhere, no matter what. Unideal conditions are inevitable.

Be ready for them.

There will always be someone wanting your attention, new books to read, music that is just a little too loud, the television on in the same room or the next room, lawnmowers and all sorts of things existing for the sole purpose of damaging our calm.

Sometimes, we need the quiet or ideal environment. Writing an emotional scene, or a sex scene, or a tricky bit of fighting probably are times to retreat to what we know will work.

But it is always empowering to know that we are able to just whip out our laptop, iPad, quill, notebook, or scribe and get down a few hundred words, even if the words are hard won.

Think a moment on what the worst possible environment would be to write in, and see if you can get yourself right in the middle of it to practice. Within reason, though, no writing between jousting knights, please. Try writing in all different conditions, train up for the inevitable distractions of November. *

And write on, friends. Not much longer to go.


*If writing anything original is too hard at first, just write song lyrics or memorized poems, learn to tune out the distraction and get words down on the page. It gets easier with time and practice.


5 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Prep: Train For Unideal Conditions

  1. Such a practical piece of advice.. I had been aspiring to start my blog someday, without success. As an editor I constantly rewrite other people’s work, always pushing my own desire to write to the back-burner.. There are just so many distractions, so many things that are higher on the priority list, so many things to drag you down.. But probably just one reason to make you start.. The fact that you love to write.. And your blog is just the perfect inspiration.. 🙂

  2. Don’t you get all sorts coming up to you saying ‘What you writing? Can I have a look?’ Might just try it one day though – take the laptop and go sit under a tree or against a wall. The change of environment might trigger some new creativity even. Thanks for the tip PP.

  3. Reminds me of an Open Classroom camping trip in Zion Ntl Park and writing grant ideals on the edge of a paper plate, going round and round toward the center.

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