Currently listening to: Perfectly Flawed, by Otep
Sometimes, you have to find a way to tune out the real world for a while. I’m one of those people who needs to do that…most of the time. And it’s been a pretty rough summer for me (being totally honest, it’s been more like a rough decade or so), so I find myself needing to tune everything out pretty often. No, I’m not trying to be pathetic–just stay with me a minute. So when I need to block things out for a while, the question becomes: how do I do that?
I know people who drink when they don’t want to think, people who go to frat parties or head to the bars. Others go to a movie or zone out in front of the television a while or take a nap. I can’t do most of those things. I’m not huge on drinking (and I definitely don’t drink the cheap, watery-tasting nonsense that tends to be available at frat parties. plus I just got out of undergrad, so a frat basement is pretty much the last place I plan on going ever again). Sitting around watching tv doesn’t really take my mind off anything–I usually just start multitasking: brooding over whatever’s bothering me while playing Spot the Plothole in Doctor Who or something*. Then I just think more and more about whatevever I’m upset over until I’m not even playing Spot the Plothole anymore; I’m just blankly staring at the television, trapped in a loop of thoughts I’d rather not be thinking. And I’m not much for napping. I sleep when it’s dark out (or, sometimes, when we’re in that hazy in-between time when it’s not quite dark anymore, but it’s definitely not daytime) and no other time. The only exceptions are when I’m really ill, or when I hit that fun point where you’ve been sleep deprived for too long and your body decides on your behalf that it’s going to shut down to keep your brain from melting. Or something.
That leaves me with comparatively few options for just shutting everything out. So back tot he question: how do I do it? I write. I take my laptop up to my lounge, shut the door (my signal to the other inhabitants of my house that I need them to not be where I am), put in my headphones, and write. I’ve spent ten hours straight just writing on my own in my lounge. That’s where “flow” comes in; you know–that phenomenon where time seems to start moving differently because you’re so involved in what you’re doing? Writing is the only time where that happens for me. I’ve started jotting notes on my phone after going to bed before, and the next thing I know, three hours have passed and I’m still writing. Writing–or plotting or worldbuilding or any of the other things that go along with creating a story–is the only thing that can really shut out all of the other thoughts bouncing around in my head.
Of course, that’s not going to be the same for everyone, and this post isn’t one of those “THIS IS A QUIRKY THING ABOUT WRITERS” posts. I’ve a friend who’s a poet, and if something’s bugging him, he can’t write a word. Writing is most definitely not his go-to happy place when he needs to get away from unpleasantness. But for me, writing really is the thing. Bonus if I’ve got music blasting at the same time.
So I’m writing today. And writing and writing and writing. And also trying very hard not to think about Pitch Wars because I’m afraid I can already guess what the outcome is going to be for it, as far as my own entry goes, and I’m not sure how I’m going to feel about it if I’m right. We’ll see; I mean, none of us really know what’s happening until Sept.3, which is a painful 8 days away.
*I adore Doctor Who, but you could fly a TARDIS through some of the plotholes. Or several TARDISes.