Dan Brown believes strongly in protecting the process.
By process, he means, the writing schedule and habits that create the difference between a writer who produces and the writer who does not.
This has become personally important to me; and lately it has come to my attention that there’s more to protecting the process than just showing up.
It’s about protecting yourself from the negative forces that affect the writing.
We are often disturbed and distracted by people and events around us. I’m not talking about the road raging driver or ineffective salesperson- we should never allow such an insignificant person or event to affect us at all.
I believe we have to prioritize who and what is important – they come first in our lives either before, after, or within our process. The rest of the world must fall away.
I don’t make appointments during my writing time. That has become a habit for the last some years. However, I have allowed other things to interrupt my life, things I thought were vital. This is mostly due to what is expected of me as a social, agreeable person. Lately, though, I’ve realized do have a choice.
I don’t care if I come across as a little anti-social or less agreeable. I’m protecting myself from people and events who will affect my time, writing, and state of mind.
I used to see a writer regularly arguing with others on social media. I asked him why he didn’t just ignore these people. He said it didn’t bother him, they needed to be taught a lesson.
Recently, he deleted many of his social media accounts and limiting his time on others, telling his followers that all the interactions were causing him distress and he hadn’t been able to write.
I’m not only talking about social media, but the regular, sometimes expected, social interactions we have. If they are draining, why do we take part in them? Expectations? Do we get anything out of it?
If not, then rethink it.