Here’s what I’ve learned about myself when I’m nearing the end of a deadline.
I get really quiet.
In the ten days leading up to my October 1st deadline for book two, I didn’t talk much. I worked in silence, forgetting most mornings to turn on my music or my ambient rain sounds.
I took my morning walks in silence too, leaving my headphones in the car and instead focusing on the repetitive sound of my footfalls on the path.
No podcasts. No one else’s voice in my head but my own.
But it wasn’t until I hit my deadline, sent my manuscript off to my editor, and started reaching for the dial on my comfortable background noise again, that I realized I’d built myself a noise-proof cocoon at all.
Here’s what I’ve learned from this experience: My Creative Self always knows what I need, it’s simply my job to listen.
This book was really hard to write. It needed a lot of space. So much space that literally nothing else would fit inside my head. But if I hadn’t listened to what I needed, if I had tried to force the creation of this story into some rigid routine; into a series of hacks and rituals I’d read about online, it might have been even harder. The words might not have come at all.
Something else I’ve learned–silence might not work for the next story. The next book I write might need music. It might need sunshine. It might need all-nighters and lots of chocolate. And I have to be ready to adapt. I have to be willing to listen. To make space for the words in whatever ways are necessary.