I have a little problem with focus. Part of it is because I have too many projects on the go. I have a full-time–overtime!–job with events and stacks of ARCs to read. I have a new baby. I have a wife I dearly love and support. I have a house with six pets, property to help maintain. I have a comic to write and run with events to work. I have a blog with a weekly dedicated post and occasionally more maintenance required. I have my own stories I want to write. And then I occasionally want to throw something else on top of that, like my February Freewriting Challenge or a short-sighted bid into CampNaNoWriMo.
When people tell me they are surprised I get done what I get done, I can’t help but forget all of the above and feel like it was simply the tiniest thing that I got done.
I sit down to write and I feel my head pulled in 30 directions at once. Laundry should be flipped, cats are unrolling the toilet paper again, needing to queue up a blog post for Anxiety Ink and set all the social media, the baby fussing, it snowed and I need to shovel, I have still yet to put the comic up on that one retailer, needing to reply to the offset printer, the order for that work event is due tomorrow…
So I was looking for a way to focus on my creative writing. I have a story that is the most wellformed as one that I want to work on. It was originally inspired by the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Although it no longer resembles the hint of what I had sparked from that story, the anime still gets me into the plot of my own story.
I have a Pinterest board for this story, which I can scroll through when I need a boost. But the issue I have with Pinterest is that it is online. Which means it is a gateway task to the eternal distraction land called The Net.
So changed it up.
When I write on my laptop, I only use half the screen. It’s a old habit which hails back to the times I thought I could write and watch anime at the same time (HAHAHAHAHAHA, SUBTITLED ANIME! Past me was a moron). But the half-screen preference stuck.
So I set up my desktop wallpaper to cycle through a bunch of gorgeous art inspired by Madoka, rich in colour and connoting the emotional burdens on the characters.
Seeing even just half of this wallpaper as I work on my creative writing sinks me into the writing mood at light speed. I know the feel I want. I know the weight of the emotion on my sci-fi adventure and how it parallels to themes of Madoka.
It took me time to find and filter through the right images. But after clearing all the dead files off my desktop, I was able to sink into the story without the weight of all the other shit I have going on weighing me down. And I felt more in touch with the original vision of the work I had.
A simple change, but a solid impact. Have you set your wallpaper to spur on your writing? Or do you keep a vision board another way?