I read somewhere that one of the best things you can do for your work is isolate it on your computer; create a new user, one dedicated to it, and enlist the help of parental controls to create the perfect working environment for you.
So I put this idea to the test; I created a new user, lovingly called it ‘work’, and spent over an hour configuring the parental controls so that I could only use it between certain times, visit only a short list of approved websites (I blocked YouTube, Twitter and other websites where I can easily spend hours) and open only a handful of applications (Scrivener, Safari and iTunes).
And then I went onto it and waited.
I opened Scrivener and thought about writing something.
Nothing happened so I went onto Google and decided to find myself a nice wallpaper to replace the generic Yosemite one. Found one (a photo of the incredibly well-dressed character of Karen Gillan from the movie Not Another Happy Ending which I both hated and adored) rather quickly and spent a good half an hour staring at it.
Had I made a mistake? Wasted a lot of time? I was so close to deleting this new user!
But then something happened. I remembered writing a sentence, an introductory sentence to be specific, on the bus home from work the other day and I quickly opened the note-taking app on my phone and read it.
I typed it up, then and there, before copying it, along with another idea that had plagued a handful of my dreams in the last couple of weeks, out onto a piece of refill and crawling onto my bed with my laptop and that piece of paper.
The writing flowed.
It was an age before I stopped again and I soon realised I’d written over 3,000 words just like that. And I felt so free, not only did this story embody everything I’ve ever wanted to write (see previous post) but it felt like it was writing itself. Like it wanted to be written, like it wanted to see the world one way or another.
I’ve been using this ‘other’ user for a little over a week now and it has completely changed my approach to writing. I feel like I now treat writing more like a job, something I have to do everyday regardless of how I feel. There’s no more waiting around for inspiration, I go at it and it finds me.
If you’re struggling to write, find the smallest of things distracting or often don’t feel like you can write anything, I encourage you to give this a go; create a new user, restrict it, and see where it takes you!
The image used in this post is a screenshot of my screen; the image within it is the aforementioned one of Karen Gillan.