Posted by: steveonfilm | June 23, 2009

Bringing the System Down

Clearing my mind is always a difficult thing. Having ADHD in generally makes staying focused difficult. Trying to unfocused often proves just as hard. Instead, I’m forced to take my thoughts through a wind down process.

It’s something akin to how a computer shuts off. You can’t just yank the power cord of a computer out of the wall. That can ruin a system, especially if it is in the middle of moving or writing an important file on the hard drive. No, a computer has to be shut down. Program’s need to be closed. System processes need to be allowed to complete themselves. My head works much the same way.

First, I need to let my thought process end. Whatever stimulus that got my mind moving in the first place needs to expire. Second, a calm environment is important. Too much buzzing and whirring and my senses try to turn the randomness into some sort of form. Third, a distraction needs to be introduced. For me melodic trance music does the job. A steady bass beat, absence of lyrics, and melodies that drift in and out in an organic measure. On occasion I’ll listen to jazz as well, but usually it’s trance. It’s enough to keep the left side of my brain occupied, while the right side gets down to business. Only after all three of these steps are accomplished can I really get into the writing mood. There is only one ting left to do…

Each writer has their own ideal writing environment. However, few get to operate in that environment. My ideal environment is early morning sun, a nice cool breeze, and some piping hot coffee. On the rare occasions I’ve had that the end results of what I write are outstanding. So the last step, after the thoughts expire, after the environment is calm, after the trance is moving, is to visualize my ideal environment. I have a picture I found on the internet that I use. I’ll share it with you now:


If you live in Los Angeles you might recognize the scene. It’s early morning. Things are just beginning to stir. A morning breeze comes in through the window. You can almost imagine the person sitting on the balcony sipping some coffee. This is what does it for me. This puts me in the mind set.

That’s what I do to get ready to write. I try to work in as many of those four steps as I can. It could be in my living room. It could be in a coffee shop. Wherever. I go through that process as best I can. And when I’m done, it’s time to write.


P.S. Sometimes as a short cut I just watch The Big Lebowski. Does the trick every time.


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