Sunday, 5 June 2011

Slow writing and hyperfocus

 So, as I have posted before, I’m working on a novel right now. So far I have got 4400 words that I’ve written in three days. Now, the thing is, this is really all I’m doing all day, so I would have hoped I’d be able to write more in a single day. I think I am getting better, though, in the last 24 hours I wrote 2,000 words, so it’s definitely an improvement.

 Part of the reason I think I’m writing so slowly is because I am really easily distracted. Doug calls what happens when we go to the local shopping centre the ‘fish hook effect’ because something catches my eye and he ends up being pulled away from what he was doing.

 Thanks to the internet, a similar thing happens that prevents me from writing as quickly as I would like. Like today I fully intended to write solidly and ended up ranting on twitter about the idea that skinny girls have it so hard when they aren’t considered the epitome of attractiveness by not thin people. Because, you know, it’s not like the entire media tells them and everyone else all the time that they are the epitome of attractiveness.

 Oh wait.

 But that’s a different topic.

 So, ironically, when I lay down to write (I write on my bed a lot of the time as there isn’t a proper desk in my room), I had the full intention of inducing hyperfocus.

 Now, if hyperfocus sounds like a power that a robotic or an android superhero would have, then you’re not alone, but it is an actual thing. It’s when the consciousness is focused on one narrow subject and just that.

 For example; I get hyperfocus sometimes. I mostly get it when I’m reading, but I can also get it when I’m watching TV or playing a video game, although less often. So, how can I tell it’s happened?

 I can’t hear anything.

 That sounds weird, but I assure you that it’s true. People who have been with me when I’m reading something often complain that they can’t get my attention. I’m not ignoring them; because you have to be aware of something to be able to ignore it. They tell me that they’ve been trying to get my attention, but I haven’t heard them say anything.

 It used to happen with my mother all the time before I came to university.

 So, I thought I might be able to use this to my advantage. If I could get hyperfocused on my novel, then I wouldn’t have to worry about distractions anymore.

 However, my cunning plan had a major flaw; if I got distracted beforehand, it wasn’t going to work at all.

 Obviously, my plan failed. So I’ll have to plan out a word count I want to achieve every day and just go for that. Right now I’m doing at least a thousand a day, I’ll probably try to improve that over time.

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