Wednesday, November 28, 2018

No Web

Hi everyone! Welcome back to Too Many Books To Count! As we close out our series, I’m especially glad you stopped by. All month long, we’ve been discussing the myriad methods I use to get myself into the writing zone, and I think we’ve been having some fun along the way. We’ve discussed what to listen to and what not to listen to, how to make sure we don’t get distracted by our cell phones, and getting comfy to ensure no body parts fall asleep while we’re working.

So what’s left?

The one none of us like to talk about, and most of us just can’t bring ourselves to do.

#7: Turn off the internet

I don’t mean completely, of course. I don’t mean to completely cut internet and no longer have it. I mean that while you’re writing, you shouldn’t be on the internet. At least, not until you can discipline yourself well enough to not use it while you’re writing.

For most of us, we don’t need it. Not really. We try to tell ourselves that we do, that it’s incredibly important that we have the internet in case we need it to research something, to answer some burning question we must understand right now. Truth is, we don’t need it. We should’ve done our research ahead of time. That question can be answered later. And it’s better that we not let ourselves be distracted, than that we get everything right in the first draft.

I’ll admit, wholeheartedly, that this method is only for first drafts. After that, yeah, I understand. We do need the internet. We do need to be checking our work, making sure we did everything right. And the internet is supremely helpful in that regard. So I’m not saying that you should never use the internet while you’re writing, but that you should turn it off while you’re working on your first draft—because those drafts are hard enough, without the constant distractions of the interweb.

If you’re like me, and you write on a laptop, then it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy. Just push that little button that turns off your wireless connection, and you’re good to go. If you’re on a desktop, you’ll have to do a little more finagling. But you can do it. It can be done. And it won’t be detrimental to anything. In fact, you might find it to be something like a sigh of relief.

Not having the internet, after all, means that we don’t have the thing that makes a lot of us stress day in and day out. Without it, you might find you think clearer. In fact, I’m fairly certain you will.

And that’s why it’s good to do without it, at least while you’re working on that first draft.


{Rani Divine}

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Put it down

Hey guys! Welcome back to Too Many Books to Count! I’m glad you stopped by. The time has come, and we’ve reached the last week in our November series… But before we get into that, let me say how excited I am to hear how many of you are done (or nearly done) with your NaNoWriMo projects! It’s a huge accomplishment, and you should be proud. Seriously. Even I’ve never done it. I mean, I haven’t tried, but still. ;-)

All month long, I’ve been telling you guys some of the ways that I get myself in the zone for my writing. It’s all been about finding the right things to listen to, the right location, and even the right position, to make sure we stay in the zone and can write to our heart’s content. And this week, I have two of the most important ones.

#6: Put the phone away

I know how difficult this is to do. Believe me. In fact, most of the time I really hate doing it. I like to have my phone on me, I like to be able to contact people. I like to be able to distract myself with it, if I want to.

But that’s exactly why it needs to be put away, during writing time. At least until you’re highly disciplined with it, and can force yourself not to pick it up every time you want to.

Especially with the onslaught of smart phones, it’s increasingly difficult to set them down and do what needs to be done. There’re games on there! There’s texting. There’s internet. There’s fun stuff to do—most of which, if we’re being honest, could also be done from your computer, and on a bigger screen. But that’s neither here nor there.

Thing is, when it’s writing time, we can’t afford the distraction. It’s better for us to focus, to keep our minds on the task at hand, especially during writing time. For most of us, it takes a lot of concentration to be able to get those words on the page. The last thing we need is a cell phone distracting us from getting those words down. Especially during a month like this.

As we get deeper into the holidays, this point becomes even more important. There are already a million distractions, all around you. Now the holidays are there too, nagging, constantly reminding that you now have holiday things you need to do, on top of everything else.

That phone is just one more thing you don’t need to have in your way.

So put it down. Turn it off, if you have to. At the very least, leave it in a room where you’re not, so it can’t do as much harm.

It’ll help, once you get used to it. At first, it might be a little weird not having that little device in your pocket. You'll get used to it though. Promise.


{Rani Divine}

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Day

Hey guys! Welcome back to Too Many Books to Count! I’m glad you stopped by, especially on a day like today.

Today, as I hope you all know (if you’re in the States, at least), is Thanksgiving.

It’s a day when we spend time with our family and friends, usually indulging in an exorbitant meal that contains far too many calories, and usually forgetting what the point of the holiday is supposed to be.

It’s not called turkey day, guys. It’s called Thanksgiving.

So, today, I wanted to take the time to say thank you, to all of you. Thank you for sticking around, for hanging out, for having fun and following me through my little writerly career. Thank you for reading. Thank you for being you.

I know that for a lot of us, the holidays aren’t a very exciting time. They’re a sad time, or a lonely time, or a time we’d rather not focus on. I think that accounts for a large portion of why there’s a push back against the holidays these days, and a focus on the minor holidays that come before the major ones. But I want you to know that you’re loved, you’re appreciated, and that I’m glad you’re around.

I’m thankful for you.

True, I might not even know your name.
True, I’ve probably never looked you in the eye.
True, we may never actually meet in person.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t be thankful for you, nor does it mean I can’t be praying for you as we get full swing into the holiday season.

And I am. I’m praying for you. Each and every one of you.

I’m praying that you close out 2018 in the best way possible, and that 2019 will be the best year ever. I’m praying peace for each of you, as we enter one of the most hectic times of the year. And I’m thanking God for each and every one of you.

Because you’re awesome.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


{Rani Divine}