Every writer needs space to write.
Since I could devote an entire series of blogs, websites, and HGTV episodes to figuring out the right writing space for your house, apartment, dorm, boat, trailer, hut, cave or prison cell, it’ll be easier to tell you what you cannot have in that space.
There are two things that every writer does not need:
1. The Internet
2. A Thesaurus.
The Internet is one of the greatest achievements of mankind. The digital age that exploded on the scene in the 1990s is comparable to the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s, and is as important as the wheel and sliced bread (in that order). And it is exactly because of this awesome quantity of information that you have to pull out of The Matrix when you write. It is the single most distracting entity alive.
Rule Number One, a.k.a, “The Inviolate Rule of Writing” —
1) Ye shall not, under pain of dangling participles, ever write in the same space with an Internet connection.
That means when you go into your room, attic, coat closet, etc, you cannot have a wired or wireless computer; or a tablet computer; or a cell phone; or a bluetooth headset (those are just butt-ugly, anyway); or a microchip implanted in an isolated cortex (and I don’t mean the explorer).
But let’s be clear. It’s fine to use a computer’s word processor; it’s not fine to use its wi-fi connection.
While you are writing …
- You do not need to check your email
- You do not need to check the weather
- You do not need to shop on Amazon
- You do not need to know the latest on Jen and Brad
- You do not need to know whether the Packers won last night
- You do not need to check Facebook.
Rule Number Two, aka, “Stephen King’s Decree” —
2) Ye shall not, under pain of antidisestablishmentarianism, use a thesaurus. Ever. A word picked from a thesaurus is the wrong one. Period.
So, we should be at a point now where you have carved out time to write, figured out a way to divorce yourself from the World Wide Web, and donated your thesaurus to the local library.
Next time I will talk about the various kinds of spaces where you can write.
Despite what I said at the beginning, there are a lot of things that houses, caves, trailers, luxury yachts and cell blocks have in common.
In the meantime, here is your next assignment: Get a pad of paper and a pen, sit down during your 30 min time slot, and write down everything that comes to mind. It doesn’t matter what it is. If it pops in your head, write it down. Don’t edit, don’t second guess yourself and don’t try to create anything marketable. Just write in a stream of consciousness. Do this every day between now and when we talk about getting your writing space set up.
Until next time, peace from Keith.