For the last six weeks, for a variety of reasons (travel, illness, holiday) I've been off the grid, as it were. For two solid weeks of that time I had no internet access (or interest) at all. I'm fascinated to find that the respite from constant input, and from the multitasking which seems to be modern life, as awakened my muse in a way it hasn't been awake for several years. Naturally, I love that! And I want to find a way to preserve the energy it brings me.
The title of this post is a bit misleading. I don't actually believe in writer's block. Like Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird--must read for every writer) I think a writer can be emptied out, and need to take a walk or enjoy a moment in nature in order to fill up again. I do think, though, that the constant distractions of the internet, the news cycle, the necessary (and unnecessary) trivia of daily life can interrupt the creative process.
I've blogged about this before, but I'm struck anew, after these past few weeks, by the essential veracity of the stricture: Multitasking doesn't work. The terrific book Brain Rules concludes with that. Several other researchers have expanded upon the recognition that dividing our attention between a number of tasks means none of them gets done very well.
I'm having a fabulous time sitting down with the manuscript for my new book and immersing myself in it. It used to be that discipline, for a writer, meant regular writing hours--the seat in the chair. It seems to me that the new discipline is to resist distractions. I may blog a little less often. I may not check email five times a day, or stew over the political news. I'm going to write, and enjoy it, a whole lot more than I have in the past few months.