I Pick Up My Laptop, Put on My Terribly Academic Glasses, Crank the Music and…

Posted on 25/09/2012 by


I’m in love with my speakers. I’m just going to say it. They’re not even mine. But they’re in my living room vibrating my couch so… whatever. They’re mine right now. And I’m in love with them. Well, okay, maybe not the speakers so much as the beat. I like to feel it through my feet.

And I’ve developed this little ritual. Or maybe it’s a magic trick. It’s a bit ridiculous but it works so I’m just going to embrace the superstition or whatever and go with it.

It starts with the music —

I can’t hardcore edit while listening to music because I’m never entirely sure how much of my emotional state is dictated by the mood music, but composing… that’s a whole other thing.

Music is wonderful for composing. It siphons of the part of my brain that’s counting, remembering, analysing — that part sings along and plays the beat. Which leaves the — I don’t know, the woobly part? This is the part that’s responsible for making bad jokes when my attention is elsewhere or sidetracking me down research paths that are related to nothing or wakes me up in the middle of the night to write about pancakes and hangovers. So basically the part where the good stuff comes from.

Then I put on my glasses —

I don’t actually need glasses. (Every time I put them on I feel like the Doctor: You don’t really need them, you just think they look a bit clever.) My optometrist gave them to me when I started getting headaches proofreading my honours thesis. Apparently glaring at words that closely is a strain on the eyes and she gave me glasses that… make it easier for my brain to read the acrosses and ups and downs? Which is a thing my eyes have a problem with? Or something? I know she explained it to me at the time but that was many, many years ago now.

Because I don’t need them I mostly don’t wear them unless I’m doing final phases srs bsnss proofreading. I wore them for about three weeks straight when I was proofing my doctoral thesis and learned to field I didn’t know you wore glasses comments without actually removing my attention from my work.

So I don’t wear them. But sometimes when I sit down to work my eyes just sort of… slide off what I’m doing. This is known as laziness. Also procrastination. Or whiny lameness. But sometimes the tiny jump in clarity of adding my glasses to the mix makes it easier to focus. This is partly because my head thinks, Ooh, we’re being serious now. Better pay attention. And partly because if I look anywhere but at text when I’m wearing them everything turns into a psychedelic swirl and I get dizzy. It’s excellent negative reinforcement.

And it’s turned into a habit. I kick my speakers into high gear, grab my glasses and my laptop, thump down onto my couch… and it’s like starting a writing montage. Like magic. The music rises… and the words come.


Posted in: Kandace