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 too...so 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.