Thursday, 3 May 2012

as a hermit

An experiment: could I, for a day, be a writer focused on one task, that of telling a story? Could I spend the entire day locked up in my room, free of distractions, and finish something for once in my life?

The night before, I cleaned my room.  I cleared my desk.  Bought some apples and set out a mug.  I informed one of my roomates that I was taking an art day.  Did some brainstorming and went to bed.

The next morning, I was up at the crack of 10:30. Meant to be up at 7:00, but apparently I was more run down than I had thought. No matter.  To the desk! Wait...should have some kind of breakfast, you know, fuel the mind and all that.  Maybe shower an hour later, I sit down to my desk, fully intending to write something completely new.  I'd been feeling lately there was this story inside me dying to get out...but although I did come up with a time traveler and a gazebo and theatre critics, I just wasn't finding what I wanted.

I had some lunch.  Checked the email.  Returned a mystery phone call (turned out to be a survey), and then, back to the board!  I recalled that I had started writing a short story a couple years ago about a girl who gets shot out of a cannon. Developing that into a script became the matter of the day.  But I could not stay in my room!  After about three pages, I went for a walk around the neighbourhood.  Then I sat on the porch with some tea and my notebook on my lap.

Another two pages...a mad scientist leaped onto the scene!  And then I couldn't work anymore.  At about 4pm I gave up and watched Ponyo.

It was wonderful, however, this whole experience.  I learned that I cannot cut myself off from everything for more than a few hours at a time: I am fully dependent on my surroundings.  And I can actually focus on a project for more than a few hours at a time: not letting myself be distracted by chores or other projects was huge in keeping the creative juices flowing throughout the writing process.  And I felt so connected afterwards. I'll definitely be doing this again.

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