Sep 2, 2014

Time, Space, and Inspiration

by Lucinda Whitney

One of the blogs I follow is Joanna Penn's The Creative Penn.

I really like the insights, tips, pretty much everything else. A few months ago she had a blog post about finding the time, space, and inspiration to write (you can read it here, it's pretty great). In it, she discusses how writers need the same kind of intention and dedication that athletes possess when they're training their bodies and minds to achieve their goals. Just like strength, endurance, and conditioning can help someone train their body for the rigors of a sports competition, the same kind of attitude is required of a writer who wants to succeed.

I think time and space are pretty self-explanatory— a dedicated space and an appointed time greatly help with the mental concentration. Unfortunately for me, I don't have a single space I call my own. I share a room that is office/library/TV/toy room. Plus, I work from a desktop. At times, I'm the only one in the room, and at other times, I have to share. Sometimes, it's not ideal, but if I want to write, this is what I have to work with, and I can't make excuses. I've also found out that a good pair of ear buds and a white noise app work really great in masking distractions.

Fortunately, though, I'm the stay-up-late writer. I'm European, which means staying up late is second-nature to me, and my optimal time is from 9 pm to 2 am. Do I do this every day? No, I don't. Some days I'm only able to stay up to midnight, and when I do stay up later, I'm usually dragging myself in the morning. But like Joanna mentioned, routine is a thing that your brain learns. In the past few weeks when I've been trying to finish my WiP novella, it's like the writing is just waiting on the sidelines for the kids to be in bed and the house to be quiet. Then, everything comes together. My mind has learned that this is the optimal time and the words just flow. Yesterday, I even wrote 2,183 words in one sitting. For a slow writer, it was a good day.

What are some ways you use to help you concentrate on your writing?


  1. I like that analogy of writing to athletic training. This may sound weird, but I find that if I play instrumental music - usually something classical like Handel's Water Music, but the Piano Guys and almost anything Celtic works too - and chew gum when I first sit down to write, I am able to focus better. Actually chewing anything helps, but gum keeps the calorie count down! Great post, thanks!

  2. Oh heck I'm more the garden variety type...I get to it when I do lol


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