One of the hardest parts of writing for me is keeping my brain in gear. As a glass artist I could put my hands to work, rock out to some music to prevent the inevitable self-criticism of how it was going, and let the magic happen. That mental disengagement isn’t possible with writing. So far anyway, any slight distraction, like soft music in the background, only irritates me. I need to work on that. In the past music has often proven a good lubricant to my thought processes.
I enjoy the demand of complete mental engagement, I just can’t sustain it for long. It’s like swimming in a cold lake. I know if I’m in it long enough I’ll adjust, but after a few minutes I can’t help but head for the warm sandy beach. There’s also a lurking fear of what happens if I do get too comfortable—like writer’s hypothermia. I suppose that’s where the gentle distractions prove useful, like a little life-line back to reality.
There was a time when I was doing production glass work that I’d put on movies as my entertainment. Though it worked well for cranking out product, it was also an indication I wasn’t challenging myself. Maybe I’m over doing it now. I don’t know. Might be time for some experiments.