Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fresh Starts

I've had a lot of fresh starts recently.  My most recent job is unlike any other I've previously had.  My one computer had to get wiped clean because of a virus, then I got a new one to set up.  And now I've gotten a new phone that I am playing with.

Every time I start fresh, I'm amazed by exactly how much work it is and how exhausting it is to restore things to how I'm used to.  I had a lot of settings and preferences.  I put in a good chunk of time tinkering and making things just the way I like.  And some of those changes were little additions here and there that really added up.

With my computers, I twice had to put on all the programs that I downloaded, arrange all the files I had saved, find and save all my bookmarked websites, set all of my passwords, and do all kinds of things.  My phone required setting backgrounds and ringers and alarms and the like.  And new jobs require meeting new people and learning new protocols.

The appreciation I have for settling into a groove is much greater when I find myself out of that groove.  When I write, I have a set of circumstances I like.  I am alone.  I have no distractions.  I have music playing through headphones as background noise.  It is also usually night time with no lights on except the glow of my computer.  Otherwise, it will be daytime in a coffee shop and I'll be writing in my spiral notebooks.

When I try to write in any other circumstances, it is a colossal failure.  I'm out of my groove and nothing works.  I spend all my time and energy trying to restore my current situation to my groove.

Despite the above, I still recommend a fresh start on occasion.  It shakes things up, gets you out of your rut, and makes you think.  Realize how set you have become, how much you enjoy certain set-ups, and what it's like to go without them.  You can also realize which things you do, not because they are beneficial, but because they are comfortable.

Can you identify what you like to do?  What is your ideal set-up for writing?  When you can answer that, go and do the opposite.  Try to write in the most unideal situations.  Then see what you come up with.  I'd certainly like to see it.

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