Hacking creativity

It’s been a few months since I moved to my new abode and as I’ve been focussing more on me (physical and mental health wise) I’ve ended up falling into some habits which are due to the change of living space and adapting to a new layout of room.

When I moved I decided to leave a few things where I first placed them to see if the layout worked for me, and on the whole it does. Almost. But it’s been a deliberate decision to live in the space for a while and let myself adjust to it. In a similar vein, I deliberately avoided any further decluttering, better to let myself live in the space for a while and see if any of the things in boxes or in cupboards are really needed all that much.

Equally, just as a tidy home is better for my mental health (YMMV) I also know I need to make some other changes and challenge my recently formed habits. The prime example of this, as I no longer have a desk, is that I end up most evenings just sitting on the sofa with the TV on, iPad in my lap, and… well let’s just say any notion of creative writing has fallen by the wayside these past few months.

So it’s time to change things around a little and, essentially, ‘hack’ my living habits. Ah yes, you can take the geek out of the … something … but you can’t… finish an analogy apparently. Good grief, my brain is atrophying! This is more urgent than I realised.

One advantage of being in a smaller living space is that my options are limited, which means it is much easier to switch things up and have a substantial impact on how I use, live in, and interact with that space and so, with that in mind, I’ve come up with a simple two step plan.

Step 1 – remove the multi-block extension cord that is plugged in behind the sofa
That removes easy access to the sockets and adds an annoying step if I want to plug in the iPad because the two sockets behind there are already in use.

Step 2 – get rid of the small bookcase that is hardly used
At the other end of the living room from the sofa is a small table, it’s mostly used as a dumping area and next to it is a small bookcase which is even worse. It’s gone from being a temporary place to put things when I moved to a permanent place for said items.. no no no! Begone you clutter collector, you!

Two steps which will move my focus when I’m using my iPad from sofa to table which should help me get back into my writing groove.

Sidenote: I bumped into an acquaintance a couple of weeks ago. Hadn’t seen him for several months and he asked how my novel was coming along. I’m hoping the next time I see him I’ll be able to offer something more positive than “uhhh yeah the first draft is done and I’m… ehhh… starting to rewrite bits… ummmm … and you know, edit it a bit… “.

Knowing me, Step 2 will lead to further decluttering as I have a set of drawers that is mostly empty and a few small boxes in a cupboard that should really go… and now that I think about it, the other small bookcase next to the sofa isn’t really used either so that can go too (gah, stop already!).

Ultimately I guess a change is as good as a … whatever it is… (what is WITH my brain and analogies right now?) and whilst the prime goal is to get me back into a more creative place I know it’ll also have knock-on benefits .

Whether that means finishing the second draft of what I’m now calling “Novel 1” or pushing on with the ideas that are simmering for “Novel 2” I’m not sure, but I know I am missing the process, missing that feeling of getting lost in the zone for a couple of hours.


  1. Z said:

    I’ve virtually stopped watching television. To begin with, it was because I was finding it hard to concentrate, then because the news was so upsetting – I read a daily newspaper but don’t listen to tv or radio news any more. I agree with you that having a place to write is a help – though I can’t do a sustained piece of writing on my iPad, I can’t see enough of it at a time to maintain a flow. Do you print out what you’ve written or can you keep your focus without that?

    August 22, 2017
  2. Gordon said:

    I’ve an iPad Pro (12″ screen one) so it’s not so much of an issue, and Scrivener makes it easy to write in small chunks and piece them together later. But yeah, my TV watching is largely ‘boxsets/movies/sports’ so it’s easy to controlled.

    August 25, 2017

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