The Parking Lot Writing Tool
Are you one to get distracted easily? Chances are, if you are a writer, the answer is a resounding YES! That’s okay. Writers are ALWAYS writing even when they don’t have a pen in their hands or they are not at the keyboard. Their minds have a hard time shutting off. They are constantly thinking of a new story or how to enhance an existing project and then the grocery list gets mingled in there as well. Here is a sure little trick that I was taught. I have used it myself and it has saved my sanity more than once.
When you are working, keep a notepad near you. That notepad is going to be your “Parking Lot”. When you are in the zone and on a roll with writing/typing, you do not want anything getting in your way. So when that thought enters your mind that your forgot to pick up a present for Aunt Sally’s birthday, you are going to stop and jot it down in your parking lot. That way you do not have a chance to forget it and you don’t have to dwell on it any longer. Carry on with your writing until the next irrelevant (to your working project) idea tries to bully its way into your brain. Stop and put it in your parking lot.
I even use this tactic at night when I am trying to go to sleep. This is when your mind is attempting to wind down and you not only have to fight the thoughts of forgotten tasks but now the characters and ideas in your writing projects decide that they all want your attention this very minute. They don’t talk to you all day and you struggle to find them and incorporate them into your writing, some days to no avail. Apparently their morning is your midnight. That’s okay! Because now you have a parking lot and you can jot down the ideas and write about it in the morning. Very simple fix that eliminates a ton of frustration!