Friday, 8 April 2011
Rules Of Distraction
By Richard Jay Parker
There's an apocryphal story about Hollywood studios always giving their sitcom development staff writers two year contracts. The reason being because after a year of distraction and long lunches, in the second year they have nothing better to do than write a sitcom.
I like to think I could probably spend two years being distracted and having lunch but I know that my ITM (inner taskmaster) would be a buzzkill.
People are always interested in writers' work routines - particularly if they do it from home. 'I'd just get distracted' is what a lot of people say.
It's true, there are many drawbacks to working from home and resisting the temptation to get waylaid by chores pending is certainly a mindset you have to master.
Iain Banks has two computers in his office -one for emails and one for writing. You can see the sense of that. I'd need a third one for Twitter.
But it's that ITM that you have to cultivate the most. It's your voice, guilt and ambition all rolled into one.
I'm lucky to have an office to write in with a decent view out of the window. In my London address I had next door's brick wall to look at. Having a pleasant space that you can treat as your work environment helps enormously.
But whether you have a designated writing chamber/sensory deprivation tank or are snatching moments when you can using your lap as a desk it's only the ITM that can carry you through to the last page.
As your thought processes move through the planning stage into familiar procrastination territory you'll notice its voice gets louder.
Visit Richard at: www.richardjayparker.com