It’s no secret I’ve been struggling to get the words down this year, and I’m not alone. Everyone’s struggling. I've had a bit of success recently with a couple of tweaks to my work routine that I thought I would share. Although this first one is probably of no use to anybody but me.
The War of the Cold Water Bottles might have ended in a stalemate, but I won an earlier encounter with the kids when we threw them out of the space under the house. It's our gym now, and it's pretty well set up. Better than some of the micro gyms I've seen popping up around town. Because we don't have to share. (Except with the dogs).
Anyway, one of the challenges of working from home and working for yourself is structure, or rather the lack of it. One of the challenges of modern life is fitness (or the lack of it). So I combined the two. Rather than trying to structure my day around the words I have to write, I’ve broken the day up into multiple workouts. Five minutes here, 10 minutes there, you put them all together and by close of business, I've done an hour-long program.
I don't know why it helps, but it does. I find I’m way more likely to stay focused when I think of those mini workouts as the waypoints through the day and my writing as the stuff that happens in between. I took the photo from the door of my office, so it’s pretty easy to combine the two. Maybe it's just that each exercise gets the blood flowing out of my arse and back to my brain again. All I know is that it works.
Part of me (probably the cool part) expected to see target silhouettes and fighting dummies with "plot", "outline", and "deadline" written on them with shuriken and throwing knives sticking out of them with "character", "subplot" and "theme", or something attached.
Do you find that these micro workouts help your thinking on your writing? When I was studying I found I could spend hours at my desk wrestling with how to frame something, only to have a breakthrough idea when I went to have a shower or do literally anything except sit at my desk torturing myself.
If it's stupid and it works, it ain't stupid.
I read something a week or so ago basically about the history of micro breaks and work. They started out being just turning your head from the screen for a few seconds, and then slowly getting longer as studies realised there were productivity gains to be had from getting up and moving around for a few minutes every hour or so.
That's a hell of a home set-up!!!