You're studio

I am always learning, and I have not perfected my studio to write as of yet.

What is your studio, or rather, what is your place to write, to edit, to create?

What setting?
 
If you're just writing, the world is your studio. Anywhere you feel comfortable.

My studio is fairly high tech, so it's just an array of computers and monitor screens in a room with blackout curtains,

If you want one good piece of actionable advice for creating a work environment, here it is

These are an extremely popular pair of medium end noise cancelling over the ear headphones. The reason that they are one of the top selling items worldwide is twofold. One, there is no noise cancelling headphone that does a better job cancelling noise. Two, they are extremely comfortable over long work sessions. Buying a pair of these is the easiest and most effective way to turn any normal area into a place that you can focus. They completely eliminate all the small distractions, such as truck breaks, people opening doors in other rooms in the house, dogs barking, etc. They are also very good headphones in general, for music and media. I have AKG 701's for studio mixing, but these are what I use 90% of the time.

 
If you're just writing, the world is your studio. Anywhere you feel comfortable.

My studio is fairly high tech, so it's just an array of computers and monitor screens in a room with blackout curtains,

If you want one good piece of actionable advice for creating a work environment, here it is

These are an extremely popular pair of medium end noise cancelling over the ear headphones. The reason that they are one of the top selling items worldwide is twofold. One, there is no noise cancelling headphone that does a better job cancelling noise. Two, they are extremely comfortable over long work sessions. Buying a pair of these is the easiest and most effective way to turn any normal area into a place that you can focus. They completely eliminate all the small distractions, such as truck breaks, people opening doors in other rooms in the house, dogs barking, etc. They are also very good headphones in general, for music and media. I have AKG 701's for studio mixing, but these are what I use 90% of the time.

The space, when you type, what is it like? Do you turn off your phone? Do you meditate before?
 
Kind of both, I put the phone out of sight, put on the NC headphones, and also I keep night hours, so basically no distractions. You don't have to work like that, but it does make it easier to focus and maintain attention span. I don't know if you would call it meditating, but I drink an energy drink in a sauna over about an hour before work every day. It's a way to become completely relaxed and wide awake at the same time. It's been working pretty well for me. I usually spend that time playing STS or Elden Ring, so I'm not exactly meditating, it's more like a mental palette cleanser, where I push out the concerns of the day and clear my head to approach composition.
 
Kind of both, I put the phone out of sight, put on the NC headphones, and also I keep night hours, so basically no distractions. You don't have to work like that, but it does make it easier to focus and maintain attention span. I don't know if you would call it meditating, but I drink an energy drink in a sauna over about an hour before work every day. It's a way to become completely relaxed and wide awake at the same time. It's been working pretty well for me. I usually spend that time playing STS or Elden Ring, so I'm not exactly meditating, it's more like a mental palette cleanser, where I push out the concerns of the day and clear my head to approach composition.
I know you are super smart, and what I am experiencing is a time crunch. So, since I know you won't laugh at my suggestions :) I was wondering if you have a psychological take on time management and writing from your point of view and experience.

I have studied Jared Tendler with "Poker" on what is basically stages in preparation, or perhaps ways to perfect a poker game if you will (in simplistic terms). I wonder if the same can be applied to writing and wondering if you have thoughts along the same lines for preparation and writing.

I was not able to find a video on Poker by Tendler, but stock trading. Just an example of I suppose of a mental mindset.
 
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Honestly I think about it a lot, the process of thinking, learning, mindset. I don't talk about it much because it's kind of complex, and would tend to turn into a book, but here are some really basic concepts, that you can try out.

Find effective techniques, and automate them. There's some mental line where you can repeat and ingrain a behavior process to the extent that it falls below your awareness. For example, if you drive a stick shift for a year, you no longer think about it. You don't spend time searching for the shift knob, you don't spend time remembering where the gears are. Your brain says gear 3, and your hand just automatically grabs the shifter and puts it in gear 3, without you having to divert any attention to that process.

This goes hand in hand with forming good habits, but I digress. Essentially, your brain can only handle so many things at once, and when you become so used to a task that you can do it without thinking, then you are basically free of that baggage. Everything is about speed. Almost anyone could accomplish almost anything given unlimited time, so in a sense, who achieves what is mostly a matter of becoming efficient enough to outpace competitors to a particular goal, whether that's creative, financial, industrial, or just winning a round of poker.

Efficiency and speed end up being the same stat over the marathon of life, you'll pull off some amazing sprint here and there, but overall, how much you move the needle is going to be based around how smart you are about making your time effective.

So I'm trying to give you an actionable way to start seeing some day to day results. First, find a part of your process that you can master completely. Something simple and clearly defined would be best. Let's say you are writing scripts, and you want to get the formatting right every time. Well, it has some mild complexity to it, but overall, it's not that difficult.

In this instance, you would

1. Take an active interest in learning everything about script formatting

2. Format your script correctly, painstakingly, slowly for weeks

3. Realize one day that when you hit a new scene your brain just autofills in all the formatting, and that you do it unconsciously while watching tv or talking on the phone

Now the mental energy that was previously spent on thinking about how to format something can be re-tasked to the main goal of composing the story.

In music, this same idea takes the form of muscle memory. If you are thinking about how to make a chord, your mind is not free to think about the next chord, and if you still have to consciously think about what that next chord should be, you can't dedicate your full attention to the expression that you are trying to put into the performance.

Most of the times that I've worked with people trying to help them improve some skill, the big obstacle is not a lack of talent or intelligence, but a lack of patience. Humans have amazing potential, and you just need to build some self confidence by mastering small goals that make the larger tasks more approachable.

Anything you do repeatedly will get easier, and you'll be less apprehensive about it. Something I often tell people is to practice completing things. You know how they say hindsight is 20/20? Give yourself opportunities to see your own methods in hindsight. Write a bad story, publish it, fell embarrassed about the parts that weren't that good. Loose a few arguments while defending your creative decisions. Write another one, carefully avoiding the pitfalls that became clear in hindsight from the previous work. Keep doing that, improving your approach, and the day will come that you are writing the whole story on autopilot, your mind completely free to compose, and the process of executing that composition effortless.

This is what a skill looks like before your brain automates it. No need to watch the whole thing.


This is what it looks like after. This guy is just thinking "left side, right side, center". You cannot move this fast when considering each movement.


The difference seen above comes from exactly the techniques I'm describing. Guy no 2 methodically automated anything that didn't actually require thought, now he's fast.
This absolutely applies to poker. If you have mastered the odds and tactics of the cards, and no longer have to think about them, you can for example focus your attention more on the other players.

Mindset is a huge topic, so I didn't even try to approach it here. Learn this one tactic for methodically improving speed at task x, and it will help you achieve in many areas.
 
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Honestly I think about it a lot, the process of thinking, learning, mindset. I don't talk about it much because it's kind of complex, and would tend to turn into a book, but here are some really basic concepts, that you can try out.

Find effective techniques, and automate them. There's some mental line where you can repeat and ingrain a behavior process to the extent that it falls below your awareness. For example, if you drive a stick shift for a year, you no longer think about it. You don't spend time searching for the shift knob, you don't spend time remembering where the gears are. Your brain says gear 3, and your hand just automatically grabs the shifter and puts it in gear 3, without you having to divert any attention to that process.

This goes hand in hand with forming good habits, but I digress. Essentially, your brain can only handle so many things at once, and when you become so used to a task that you can do it without thinking, then you are basically free of that baggage. Everything is about speed. Almost anyone could accomplish almost anything given unlimited time, so in a sense, who achieves what is mostly a matter of becoming efficient enough to outpace competitors to a particular goal, whether that's creative, financial, industrial, or just winning a round of poker.

Efficiency and speed end up being the same stat over the marathon of life, you'll pull off some amazing sprint here and there, but overall, how much you move the needle is going to be based around how smart you are about making your time effective.

So I'm trying to give you an actionable way to start seeing some day to day results. First, find a part of your process that you can master completely. Something simple and clearly defined would be best. Let's say you are writing scripts, and you want to get the formatting right every time. Well, it has some mild complexity to it, but overall, it's not that difficult.

In this instance, you would

1. Take an active interest in learning everything about script formatting

2. Format your script correctly, painstakingly, slowly for weeks

3. Realize one day that when you hit a new scene your brain just autofills in all the formatting, and that you do it unconsciously while watching tv or talking on the phone

Now the mental energy that was previously spent on thinking about how to format something can be re-tasked to the main goal of composing the story.

In music, this same idea takes the form of muscle memory. If you are thinking about how to make a chord, your mind is not free to think about the next chord, and if you still have to consciously think about what that next chord should be, you can't dedicate your full attention to the expression that you are trying to put into the performance.

Most of the times that I've worked with people trying to help them improve some skill, the big obstacle is not a lack of talent or intelligence, but a lack of patience. Humans have amazing potential, and you just need to build some self confidence by mastering small goals that make the larger tasks more approachable.

Anything you do repeatedly will get easier, and you'll be less apprehensive about it. Something I often tell people is to practice completing things. You know how they say hindsight is 20/20? Give yourself opportunities to see your own methods in hindsight. Write a bad story, publish it, fell embarrassed about the parts that weren't that good. Loose a few arguments while defending your creative decisions. Write another one, carefully avoiding the pitfalls that became clear in hindsight from the previous work. Keep doing that, improving your approach, and the day will come that you are writing the whole story on autopilot, your mind completely free to compose, and the process of executing that composition effortless.

This is what a skill looks like before your brain automates it. No need to watch the whole thing.


This is what it looks like after. This guy is just thinking "left side, right side, center". You cannot move this fast when considering each movement.


The difference seen above comes from exactly the techniques I'm describing. Guy no 2 methodically automated anything that didn't actually require thought, now he's fast.
This absolutely applies to poker. If you have mastered the odds and tactics of the cards, and no longer have to think about them, you can for example focus your attention more on the other players.

Mindset is a huge topic, so I didn't even try to approach it here. Learn this one tactic for methodically improving speed at task x, and it will help you achieve in many areas.
Awesome reply! , was curious on the type of lighting you use when you write..I did not think too much on it initially, but I find myself rather annoyed with standard lighting, I bought some Himalayan Glow Salt Lamp LED Light bulbs (put in a soft shade/diffusion like you see in long floor lamps/or like an Ikea Lamp shade etc / Not direct light) and am really amazed how they put me in a whole other level of chill. It also adds a type of classic feel (for lack of better explanation) It is an organic light...it inspires to write.

 
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sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I know you are super smart, and what I am experiencing is a time crunch. So, since I know you won't laugh at my suggestions :) I was wondering if you have a psychological take on time management and writing from your point of view and experience.

I have studied Jared Tendler with "Poker" on what is basically stages in preparation, or perhaps ways to perfect a poker game if you will (in simplistic terms). I wonder if the same can be applied to writing and wondering if you have thoughts along the same lines for preparation and writing.

I was not able to find a video on Poker by Tendler, but stock trading. Just an example of I suppose of a mental mindset.

There are some people who go to a coffee shop or something for 8 hours - our brains are wired to associate locations with stuff.
So you can very easily build an assocation like coffee shop = i aint doing shit but focusing on writing while im here.
 
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