Multitasking. How it’s done. Yep, I’m achieving HEAPS.
I like to write in the evenings with the TV on (provided it’s not too loud). I’m not sure why. I could certainly save on energy if that wasn’t the case. It’s downright immoral really. But it’s as if the distractable part of my brain wants something going on when it emerges from the story – to stop it thinking up procrastinating ‘shoulds’ (e.g. making vast amounts of minestrone for freezing, or weeding the wild patch in the garden – arms flailing every so often at the orb spiders’ webs). The TV is the opiate for the distractable part of my brain – and it sends me back to the relative interest of story writing. Sad but true.
I used to be happier doing homework with the TV on. In the days when I had homework. Though I did go through an admirable phase of listening to Bach or Mozart’s piano concertos, during university. It was a short phase. But I really admired myself for it. I was sure it was having some kind of remarkable cognitive impact. Yay me. As I said, didn’t last that long …
I’d love to say I set my alarm for six and spring up to do my required daily word count – in a quiet office with a peaceful garden view (yes, I have one available). But, no. I like to write in front of the TV hum. Or in a café, on my lunch break. I even prefer to mark essays in a café (only I don’t because I have a horror of leaving one behind somehow and thus breaking the confidentiality students should be able to expect – oh, plus a latte ring stain is unmistakeable and just doesn’t look that professional).
One theory. I was an only child (until 16) and I used to often bring my own little activities with me (drawing, or writing) when my parents took me out socialising. Not that they were crazy partiers at all – but I did become very adept at blocking out background chatter in order to create my own pleasant little worlds. To the point where I perhaps started to enjoy the reassuring hum of voices as a backdrop to my flights of fantasy.
I’m sure we all know that feeling of sitting down in the hushed atmosphere of a study space, blank page before us – the universe attentive to our every word. Eeek.
So, TV. That’s where it’s at. Until I evolve.
And just to balance things – here’s my critique of the addictive quality of TV watching. Yep – I fell off the wagon:
Much more sensible advice than mine on writing practices: http://www.sfwriterstoolkit.com/getting-into-a-routine/