This is not so much a writing tip, as it’s a rant, and in that it's a tip to move away from distractions to be able to write.
The other day I was walking down the street, and I was practicing mindfulness. That is, I was aware of every breath I took, every step, and I worked on being in the present moment, looking at the sky and the trees and the people around me, the buildings, the road.
Then I stopped, struck by a revelation.
Everywhere I looked was a command, written in big letters and demanding my attention.
I had to forcefully avoid the street signs, the posters, the billboards, the advertising notices in the store fronts, the easels out on the street, the neon signs on the awnings, and a plethora of more various attempts to break my focus and reroute it.
The only possible way I could do avoid all this was if I looked under my feet or high up into the sky.
I stood there with my mouth open, looking around and realizing that there was no peace, no quiet, no stillness of mind possible anywhere we live, unless we live in the middle of nowhere, with no signs telling us to “GRAB THIS!” and “BUY THAT!” and “SAVE ON THIS SALE!” and “TASTE THIS FOOD!” and whatever else.
Wow. Holy fucking shit.
This was language turned to trash—the trash that pollutes our minds day in and day out.
How can you even write in this kind of environment? Look around your room. Your kitchen. Your bathroom. Anywhere you go, you have things with text on it. They’re ALL trying to demand your attention. TV. Magazines. Shampoo bottles. Cereal boxes. Whatever. Even opening a fridge you’re bombarded with messages, unless you carefully unpack everything and repack it into your own containers.
Imagine the kind of peace of mind you could have if for just a week you’d go away from this hel.
So hike. Backpack. Sulk away into the woods and live in a bear cave. Whatever it takes. Get aware of this trash that invades your mind and block it. Keep it out. However you can.
Your creativity will thank you for it and soar. I guarantee it.