“Determining the best treatment nonetheless requires objective knowledge of the treatments under consideration, and objective record keeping of how the writer responds. Without a clinician with an infinite amount of time and sympathy, no one is better suited to do this than the writer (perhaps with help from his or her family)…. It is critical–and sometimes difficult–to define your primary goal. To write a successful book at all costs? To make yourself feel creative, independent of success? To more comfortably balance the demands of work and family? These goals might indicate quite different treatment regimens…. Some people give up a treatment too early because they underestimate the improvement they have made.”
–Alice W. Flaherty in The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Brain
While the treatment she is mentioning is the possible use of supplements and/or medication for life disrupting block, I figured it was useful considering controllable things in life besides pills. She also mentions to manage surroundings to control for their effects as well. I am treating the managing of my surroundings to control effects as the “treatment” and going no further than the placebo effect. This is where I am going to keep track of what I have been doing and the results of it.
Step 1: Wake up at 9am, do light, stretch-type exercises, get up and open all the blinds in the house to let sunlight in, eat breakfast (take my vitamins because my diet isn’t super healthy), clean and tidy some things while listening to music until noon, sit down and record progress or something similar, sit down at some point to do something writing related, go to bed before 1am, do another round of more active exercise too sometime during the day.
Right now, the main thing I’m changing in my regimen to try and be more awake, feel more active, and write more, is to wake up 9am, stretch exercises to help wake up more, let in the sun, eat breakfast, get my house clean and go to bed by 1am. I always eat lunch so that’s nothing I need to change. I will be doing other things throughout my day, of course, but these are the things I will try to start with and stick with for at least a month, probably longer. After I’ve gotten use to this, I will experiment with what time of the day is best for my writing. I get the feeling it’s going to be earlier than 9am though, because that will be when I’ll have quiet (Michael usually doesn’t get up until 10am) and solitude.
So far today, I feel better when I go in my kitchen (the room I cleaned until noon), I’m a little sleepy (but that could be the allergies I’ve been plagued with since I got up), but hey, I’m updating my website and I looked at some things I might critique for DII soon. It’s a start.
As for what she claimed the most important step is to all this, I have to think on my main goal. It should be to make money to solve the problems of work and family (and my inability to get a job that would pay more than daycare costs). However, it is as it has always been, to write the kind of book I always wish I had written. Occasionally, I will read a really good book, or watch a good series/anime, read a good manga and wished that I could claim that story as my own it’s so good. I wish I had written that! I want to someday complete one of those really good stories and look at it and say with pride I wrote that! Once such a story is finished, I want to continue creating like that until I have a sizable collection of stories that I can look at with pride and know I deserve to be on a shelf next to my favourite authors.