Sometimes Writers Need to Play Head Games With Themselves
Why I volunteered to take our truck in to get its brakes fixed.
I’m on a writing deadline. Sure, it’s a self-imposed deadline, but one I need to meet to get my current work in progress through the editing process in time. I have a publication deadline in mind and I don’t want to change it.
As most writers find out, life tries supernaturally hard to keep us off track. The laundry needs to be done, a medical appointment gets scheduled during writing time, or that annoying headache you’ve had for days turns into a full-blown sinus infection.
As someone who is normally organized and does a lot of outlining and planning, I shouldn’t be running this close to my deadline. I should be done writing and in the process of edits.
But I didn’t count on the surgery that happened before Christmas to still affect me this much. I’ve found I’m only writing and functioning at half-speed. I’m exhausted.
This should be something I counted on as someone with an autoimmune disease. But I trusted my doctors when they said just to double the amount of healing time. So the normal two weeks became four weeks for me. I should be fine six weeks later. Right?
Nope. I should’ve known better. But here I am, up against my deadline. But I’m determined to still make it.
So what do I do?
I volunteer to take our truck to the tire store to get the brakes changed. Sound strange? Maybe. But it works. Every. Single Time.
Why does writing in the waiting room of the tire store work for me? There are three reasons. I’ll leave the strangest one for last.
1. Change of Scenery.
I’m nearing the end of the novel I’m writing, so I’m well past the “soggy middle.” This side of the midpoint is like riding a bike downhill. It’s much easier than peddling uphill, but it still takes time. No transporters for me. Darn it, Star Trek for making me wish I could travel instantaneously.
So at this point, a change in scenery helps with stirring the creative juices and making the ride to the end feel like a party rather than drudgery. Not that I feel writing is drudgery, it’s just that when I near the end of a larger project like this, I get anxious to get to The End. I can hardly stand myself at this point.
2. Butt in Chair.
Writing at the tire store ensures that I won’t take a break to change the laundry or do a load of dishes. These are all valuable tasks, but not when I’m on a deadline.
I can focus on my writing, and only on my writing. The farmer next to me waiting for his oversized diesel’s tires to get rotated is not going to be interested in talking to a purple-haired woman laughing to herself as she types on her MacBook. And neither will the tired mom rocking her baby as she waits for new wheels.
All I can do is write. There is nowhere else for me to go, and nothing else for me to do. Perfect for getting a few thousand quality words in.
3. The Scent of Rubber Tires.
I warned you I’d leave the strangest one for last. I love the smell of the rubber tires in the waiting room. I sit as close as I can to the floor-to-ceiling racks of tires.
I’m not sure if I sniffed tires as a child and it’s a comfort thing? Or the smell somehow triggers some section of creative brain cells?
Whatever the reason, the smell of the tire store keeps me happy, content, and the words flowing.
Why don’t I just go to a coffee shop? Or the mall food court? Or the library? I’ve done all those. And I still will in the future. But for me, the end of a novel deserves the ambiance of the tire store.
We all have that go-to spot for writing when we’re stuck, finishing a piece, or need inspiration. The tire store is my spot.
I’d love to know where you’re favorite location is to write! Do you love the quiet of a library or the noise of a coffee shop? Or the peacefulness of writing outside in nature?