This is not about Procrastination. We all know how to do that - Facebook, online games, updating blogs - ahem- and more.
This is about when you sit down during your Dedicated Writing Time and just aren't able to muster the muse.
By now, I have learned that I cannot just wait for the muse. Inspiration strikes somewhat erratically and unreliably. If you make Dedicated Time for writing, you are asking your muse to show up to an appointment, so to speak, and you are creating the space for inspiration to grow and flourish. Writing is a disciple, after all, and requires practice and effort.
Today, I came to my office at Starbucks to write. I love Saturday evenings at Starbucks - the place is usually quiet and my favorite seat is available. I took my seat, but two tables over was a couple. The woman had headphones on, but the man didn't. The man was playing an RPG game of some kind - WOW or whatever. He had a wireless mouse, which he was clicking at a rate of 8 times per second. Forever. I'm not joking - someday soon, another LMP is going to be faced with fixing his CTS, because that was half an hour or more of "battle" clicking.
Maybe I'm being too sensitive, but, in any case, it drove me mad. I pulled out my iPod, only to discover that the battery was dead. I moved to another table. That seat was less comfortable and closer to the loudspeaker, so the music was now intruding on my brain. I tried another table- too low. I sat on the floor, and the table was too high. I moved back to my original seat, and plugged my headphones into my laptop. Eventually, the man switched to something less clicky, and I was able to calm down...a little.
Already worked up, I could not get into the headspace I needed to be in to work on any of my current projects (one of three different memoirs/essays, all fairly emotional, require a sort of "method acting" on my part). I didn't have the time to go back to older fictions, and was pretty sure anything I rewrote in this state would suffer.
How could I still be productive? Submissions. I love the website Duotrope and I perused the calendar for current paid calls for submissions. I read through a few magazines and reviews to get a feel for their accepted pieces. I made notes for a few things I could work on to submit. I didn't submit anything, but I have time and I now know what I can send in and when it needs to be done by. I plan on running my essays by my writers group, rewriting, and submitting in the next few weeks or months.
Not entirely how I planned to spend my Dedicated Writing Time, but productive nonetheless.
And then I updated my blog.