So, two posts ago I laid out the 'Awakening Your Genius' Method, the purpose of which is to allow all parts of your brain to contribute to your writing and to get yourself into the right mindset to sit down and write. Well, yesterday being my day off from work, I tested out the method.
Overview of my day:
Woke up at 8.30 am. Made breakfast of porridge (with almonds, apricots and coconut, hmmm... delicious. Though I did accidentally make enough for a minor army.)
Now usually I take about half an hour from getting up to sitting down to write, which includes breakfast, some bible reading/prayer time, and recently attempts to improve my meditation abilities.
Yesterday, after making breakfast I pulled out pen and paper and while eating started brainstorming about my story. I will very happily admit that this was super useful. I did this for probably 45 minutes and worked out the next few scenes and planned how much I wanted to write for that day.
Following the method, I then took my drafting and went for a twenty minute walk. I did forget that I was meant to be just watching the story in my mind rather than plotting out how to write it, but otherwise was generally pretty good. Though, as it is almost the beginning of spring, it was an absolutely gorgeous day to be out, the sun was shining, the air was sweet with blossom scent, and I was in my daggy trackies because the method includes shower after walk. Oh well.
Got back and had my shower, then lay down in my spare little study nook to try and meditate.
Wow, I really suck at meditation. I have had good sessions in the past, but this was definitely not one of them. My legs were itchy, and there were some workmen outside my apartment (which is quite freaky as I'm on the second floor, but they are working on the roof next door). I got cold, and kept almost falling asleep, etc. etc.
Now the method states that you should stay meditating until you feel a sudden surge of energy to get up and write, and in a semi sleep walking state, you sit down and write with super power focus.
However, if you can't wait til the surge because you start getting too cold and are falling asleep, it doesn't seem to have the same power.
By the time I sat down to write it was 10.30am. I then wrote for 2.5 hours and got 5,000 words done. (while still breaking every hour to get a new cup of tea, and in this case make sausage rolls for lunch).
The writing session was good, but it wasn't magically so. I've had better flow days. Furthermore, the thing that made it easiest was not my meditative state, but the fact I had said I needed to write these set three scenes, as worked out in brainstorming.
The biggest problem with the method for me was that it took me an extra hour and half before sitting down to write, and didn't get me any extra words. That is 3,000 words I could have written if I had just sat straight down. And by 2pm I felt like I had spent my entire morning writing, while only get half what I should have got done.
In fairness I then read my book for a bit, and had a nap (which turned into about a three hour snooze), and woke up grumpy and groggy. I felt like I had got none of the other things done that I wanted, but still didn't have enough words. This I blamed entirely on the method and not on my mega-nap.
I wrote for a bit more that night, but felt dry and grumpy so went to the gym and then got into bed and knitted while listening to podcasts.
So, general summary of first experiment:
- Brainstorming before hand what to write for that session seems a good idea.
- The walk is just good for you, and so you should do it anyway.
- The meditation thing I think would be better a) if I practised more and b) if I had a blanket so I didn't get cold (but would still have the falling asleep issue). However, it is only of use if you are writing full time. If you only have two hours to write in, I think it's much better to use that time writing.
But I will try again on the weekend.
Tomorrow is my last day of work at my day job for 2.5 weeks! Yah! I've got a week of just plain holiday (though I'm tutoring a uni subject for one of the colleges, so will have to read up on that and go in and teach it: Arab-Israeli Conflict, fun times). The second week, very excitingly, I'm going to be an extra on a new TV series! For all you Australians who have seen Paper Giants, they are making a second one, and I'm going to be in the background of all the Woman's Day office shots! Look out for my amazing 80's fashion and hair. However, shooting is 12-14hours per day, so there is a very good chance I won't get that much writing actually done. Will see if I can make up for it in this coming week.
But, after tomorrow, I'm going to keep trying out the method and see if practising my meditation improves things at all.
Will come back with more data for you to analyse.