I have about four different documents I’m supposed to be working on today and I am having real difficulty getting my mind in to gear. I’m taking my lunch break and have decided to try and write something fun to get my self in the zone. I feel tired, my eyes are a bit watery, my brain refuses to think. I can’t put my finger on why I can’t get writing. It could be that our office has horrible lighting that it makes me feel tired; it is like something from a horror film with random lights flickering on and off. I’m pretty sure that the buzz noise coming from the light right above the desk opposite was used in the film “Saw”. It could be how loud the office is; while it sometimes has its virtues most of the time I end up cursing the open office setup. I have tried to put my headphones in and that seems to make it worse. I either spend 10 minutes finding new lists on Spotify or tune in to simplynoise.com only to be interrupted by somebody asking if I can help them print a document. I like to blame other people for my inability to get in to the writing groove, but I probably shouldn’t have had a pork pie for breakfast with a Crunch chocolate bar for elevenses.  find that the only way to get writing is to sit down and write about whatever is in my mind rather than sit down and try to write about something I have to write about that I’m not really interested in. The problem is that now I am churning out posts around the fact that I’m having trouble writing.

I’d like to know if anybody has any techniques or lifestyle habits that help them feel awake and ready to write. I think my problem may be a combination of things- bad environment, bad diet, lack of willpower and general badmooditus. So far I’ve discovered that just writing about anything that comes to mind helps get me in the mood and then I’m ready to tackle things that are more focused. The problem with this is that I often feel very uninspired when I’m having trouble writing and the only thing that comes to mind is just how uninspired I am. A friend has recommended that I go and write in the library, the walk and change of scenery do him the world of good, so that is what I am going to do now. I’ve also found that talking helps. A good 10 minute chat with somebody on the topic you are about to tackle often helps. Sometimes it helps if I spend 10 minutes paying a game of Dwarf Fortress or something, but that runs the risk of spending more that 10 minutes. Perhaps small changes will help, should I go out and buy some Kellogs to replace my pork pie breakfast?

I’ve gone and wrote 500 words in this post. I only need 1000 in my first document. Ho hum.


Tom Harding · January 28, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Try getting some Downtempo music on Spotify. That’s always great when i need to concentrate.

Ch-check out my Spotify Playlist for some inspiration – http://open.spotify.com/user/thomasharding/playlist/4YTG86Zavr80wMGVVOs2av I’d say DJ Shadow’s a good addition as well – Endtroducing never fails to get my brain cogs moving.

Failing that, retreat to the work bathroom for a swift tug.

    David Sherlock · January 28, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Haha, Spotify is good but I always end up spending time skipping songs and browsing albums.

    Ended up working at Bolton Library.

Lorna · January 30, 2014 at 9:50 am

Heh, I know that feeling well! I write a lot, but sometimes it just. doesn’t. work. and my brain refuses to string words together. It’s horrible. Sometimes going for a walk helps, but it has to be a sufficiently long walk. Doing something mundane also works for me. I often find myself composing blog posts while washing dishes (why am I even admitting this?!) My other fail safe method for beating writers block is to stay up really late, then you can guarantee you’ll get lots of inspiration at about one in the morning, just when you should be thinking about going to bed. Of course you might not want to stay in the office till the wee small hours of the morning though 😉

    David Sherlock · January 30, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Thanks Lorna. The problem I had when I was writing this was that I had lots of forms to fill in and documentation to write but just felt really uninspired to do it. I was more annoying than the times I can’t think of any topics to write about because I roughly knew I had to write about, I just couldn’t get it from my head on to paper.

    Staying up late is interesting, I always get the best ideas late at night.

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