WepWopper Anticrastination Scribproductivathon Part II: Scrib Harder
Think of it as a lock-in for writers. Without the skating rink or hormonally aflutter boys sneaking in mini make-out sessions with purposefully naive girls, while the chaperons fill up on Diet Coke.
Of course, there’s still diet coke, a substantial amount of weird hormones, and now, since we’re old enough to be our own chaperon, a full shelf of wine with fancy-pancy accessories, like cooling fridges and aerators, to even the score. Oh, and absinthe! But the point is, to push away all of our usual distractions that prevent us from writing, in an environment conducive to producing creativity, and more importantly, to push through the less inspiring moments when, in a typical setting, we might give in and go make out at the skating rink.
With a December deadline approaching for the finished first draft of his novel, Brandon Ney hosted the event for the second time in his beautiful, quiet home in Round Rock, Texas. Not exactly a log cabin in the middle of the woods, like some writer’s retreats, but far enough away from our South Austin comfort zones for it to count.
At first, all six of us piled into the living room, working silently on our own projects. With any plans, there are obstacles. For instance, trying to hold in elongated sighs, chirps, eek’s and ack’s (and other weird various noises we usually save for our computers and cats), as to not disturb anyone. Talking to yourself in the third person raises eyebrows. Then again, as our WepWopper mantra admits, “There’s a reason we’re crazy.” *Sigh, chirp, eek, ack*
Advice: you can split up! Move about the house. Sit in the hall, a bedroom, the dining room table. Free yourself of any physical restraints that might be imposing on your thinking and productivity.
After an hour of writing is up, the group reunites from their separate worlds, for a challenge! During this hour, we encourage each other to take on different writing exercises, to shake up our brains from the projects at hand.
It’s important to switch environments here, as well. Sit outside, eat some chips, drink some wine.
Each of us, in the beginning of the night, listed goals we hoped to accomplish during our Anticrastination Scribproductivathon. Goals create order, not to mention a deadline, which is extremely necessary when you’ve got a million stories scrambling about in that brilliant, ADD brain of yours.
Socializing is also important, especially if you’re discussing ideas or issues with writing, but like any good power, can be used for evil! Imagine yourself as Wesley in The Princess Bride when he enters the forest infested with vines and tree limbs and random branches. The more time spent talking, the less time spent writing. So, if necessary, grab a sword, and cut the ties. Your writer-friends will understand. And if they don’t, do not stab them with the sword. Instead, write about doing it. And passively aggressively slip it into their journals…
12 hours of writing is exhausting, frustrating, and sometimes just plain stifling. But, do not give up! Setting time aside, even if it’s just a few hours, shows you what can be accomplished, if given some effort and focus.
Plus, if it sucks, there’s always the booze. . .