Monday, July 26, 2010

What Nixes Your Writing Oasis?

Sanctuary - a place of refuge; asylum. (according to A few synonyms: cover, harbor, shield, protection, retreat ~ Oasis.

This thinking went a long way while we were choosing the name for this blog. We wanted a place of refuge, retreat, a spa for the mind. We've discussed ways to stimulate our writing through music, nature, and poetry. But sometimes, no matter what we try, inspiration is just not happening. So how did we get there?

I can tell you one thing, we were there before we even planted our butt in the chair. You knew it, the moment you woke up. So, what should we do?

I believe there are a few focus sucking elements we should avoid--or at least attempt to avoid.

Outside noises. Most of the time, external sounds don't bother me; however, when I'm struggling to settle my mind, it's nothing but a searing ice pick giving me a migraine.

Confidence issues. We all have our wavering moments. No one is immune. When that Loser sensation blankets me in a cloud of doubt, I try to read something positive like a poem or a nice email someone sent me.

Hunger or thirst. Please Seekers do a better job at this than I do. So often I forget to eat before or while I write, or even take a break to eat. Then I get all cranky and restless and wonder what my problem is. Duh.

Loneliness. Sure, writing is a solitary action--at least with the outside world. If you have a laptop, step out of your writing space and change venues. Try your back deck or the park. Maybe even the library. *grins devilishly* Don't laugh. I never thought of that one. Our library is now located in our old roller rink. I still can't get past those elementary school days on my roller skates.

Personal Issues. We all have them. Whether it's a bill that needs to be paid, a friend who's having problems, or the car is at the shop, problems are always there. They'll still be there after you sell your first book, your fourth one, and when your kids get married. Know, you are not alone.

The List. Do you have one? Heck knows I do. I have a tendency to write everything on a sticky note, plant it where my eyes can see it, and let it tease the Begesses out of me all day long. Apparently, I'm into stress. Put the list AWAY! 

Of course there are a million more, which I plan on covering during my next visit with you on Monday Sanctuary. And these are not set in stone. By no means am I saying toss these out and see nothing but your writing. Only avoid these during those trying, lack-of-focus times while you're trying to write.

Life happens, Seekers. And LIVING makes us better writers, better storytellers, and better people overall. Take that; use that and live.


  1. Great list. For me, I have to be careful about the whole "social" aspect of writing. It's too easy to spend too much time on all the social networks for writers (including AW and YALITCHAT etc).

  2. Oh yeah! Outside noise seems to be my biggest competitor.

  3. I can't understand how some people write with music in the background. I get the idea that a playlist gets you into a good state of mind, but I need to turn it off when I sit down to my work! Maybe its just me?

  4. Aha! Whatever you did, Sheri, it worked. Now I can write something. Noise is a no no for me as well. I hate music when I writing. I have a quiet space to go when I'm plunking down the words and I wear a hoodie with the hood up. That's my signal for my family to leave me alone unless there's a fire, and then only if evacuation is imminent.


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