Writer’s Tool #7: The Gadget-Free Day
You’d never believe it, but in a timespan of just four months…
…I’ve locked my keys in my car a total of 7 times.
Oh yes, I’m an idiot.
Thankfully, I’m not capable of misplacing my brain (at least, I hope not), and there is usually always access to paper and pens. You’d be shocked how many coffee stores, or restaurants are willing to part with a few pieces of paper and a pen if you ask nicely.
Now, if you’re a dunce like me, and you need to wait around for people to bring you a spare set of keys, or for a mobile car service to arrive, you can get pretty creative in passing the time. I’ve learned the benefits of using this time to concentrate on my writing.
I get a good chuckle out of picturing the first few times I’ve done this, and literally thinking to myself “Oh no! My cellphone, laptop, and journal are locked in my car! HOW AM I GOING TO WRITE?” … then it dawned on me one day, while waiting for my parents to bring me my spare set of keys, that I could simply ask a local Starbucks for a few pieces of paper and a pen.
Not only did they provide the materials I needed, in feeling sorry for my predicament, they gave me a free latte! Score!
It’s funny how many businesses are so eager to help you when you do something stupid. It’s almost as if the break in routine gives them an excuse to leave their all important burger flipping, in pursuit of some scrap paper… or some band-aids (don’t ask.)
At any rate, the lesson I’ve learned in all of this, was how much ACTUAL writing I completed, not having my cellphone, or an internet connection to actively distract me from doing everything. It’s astonishing how your brain is FORCED to think, when you have nothing to do.
This is also a fantastic way to iron out writer’s block. I’ve climbed out of many plot holes, and character problems this way. It amazes me how much of a creative recovery it can be, not having a gadget at your side. Unless you’re some sort of business tycoon, and your crackberry or i-arm is some sort of appendage, then I highly recommend trying this out. Before the advent of technology, many writers got along just fine without a cellphone, laptop, or what-have-you. “Just turn it off” some might say …
… sorry, I don’t have that kind of willpower. Perhaps that’s also a reason why I’m tubby. Just leave your devices at home, and thank me when you get a crap-load of writing done.
TASK: Set aside a large chunk of time, and leave every precious electronic thing you own that may distract you at home. Bring nothing but some paper, and a pen. (perhaps an extra pen, just in case.)
This writing tip is brought to you by a forgetful idiot.
You can find other tools like this in the Writer’s Toolbox link, at the top of the page.