Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I'm supposed to be finishing a manuscript right now. Yesterday, I somehow hit the magic formula for a productive writing day. For me, a good writing day is an act of voodoo. I think it was a combination of the following:
- coffeehouse lighting (almost dim enough to ignore my neighbors)
- coffeehouse music (detectable but forgettable)
- coffeehouse traffic (low)
- chair (metal and fairly uncomfortable)
- table height
- diet
- duration and quality of preceding night's sleep
- type of writing I had to get done (all prose, no data)
- motivation
- getting everything done before the guy with terrible B.O. sat beside me

Today has not been so productive. Today was Results day and I have had too much coffee. I think my 7 hours of focused writing yesterday exhausted my attention span, which was not reset by 5 hours of sleep. I have judgment calls to make regarding sample size, a part of science I am terrible at. I have also chosen the wrong coffeehouse.

I think when I get restless, it may help to do something unstructured that allows my mind to wander for a few minutes. Unfortunately, all I can think of is reading blogs or playing Text Twist. Any suggestions?

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