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Back at It

I’m deep in a funk this morning, and am having a hard time yanking myself out of it.[1] So I’ve decided to overcompensate by writing a bit about something that actually is going well: getting my priorities a bit straightened out and getting back to work on my revisions.

A few months back, I switched over from using my tried-and-true clock radio on my bedside to using my iPhone as my alarm clock, plugged into a nightstand charging dock. It worked fabulously, but over the last few months, I’d gotten into a Very Bad Habit: when I woke up, before even turning on the lamp, I’d reach over and grab the iPhone and check my email, catch up on Twitter, etc.

I had the sense I was being efficient — hey look, I’m just now brushing my teeth and I already know what’s going on in the world — but what I was in fact doing was derailing the work train of thought, undoing any chance that I’d be able to do the thing that I’ve known for years works best for me: taking the first half-hour of the morning, before I do anything else, to write. If I let the day come crashing in, it’s all but impossible for me to reclaim it, to carve the necessary headspace back out in order find clarity on the project.

So Sunday, after I got home from the NITLE Summit, I unplugged the charging dock and moved the old-school clock radio back to my bedside. The iPhone stays on my desk overnight, and I quit all of the networking applications on my computer before I go to bed. And when I get up, after brushing my teeth, feeding the cats, and making coffee, I crank up Concentrate. I’ve created a project that opens the document I’m working in, opens the CommentPress version of the book in a browser window, and blocks all of my networking sites — email, Twitter, whathaveyou — for 30 minutes.

And for the last two days, I’ve spent that 30 minutes getting myself back into the project. Slowly and somewhat painfully, yes, but it’s working.

That, I need to remember.


  1. Said funk is coincidentally not entirely unrelated to that which I was apparently in five years ago today. ↩︎


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