10/13/11

Find Your Quiet Place: Read Yourself Into Focus like Mo in Inkheart

“Yes, I think I've found the right place,” said Mo into the silence. He cast a last glance at Capricorn, looked at Elinor, cleared his throat—and began to read.

Everything disappeared: the red walls of the church, the faces of Capricorn's men, Capricorn himself sitting in his chair. There was nothing but Mo’s voice and the pictures forming in their minds from the letters on the page, like the pattern of a carpet taking shape on a loom…There was not a sound to be heard but Mo’s voice bringing the letters and words on the page to life.
-Cornelia Funke, Inkheart (pgs 97-98).

The Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke tells the story of 12-year-old girl, Meggie, whose father, Mo, can read characters out of books (as well as people into them).

While Funke writes brilliant adventure stories, I want to focus on Mo’s gift of storytelling and how it demonstrates undivided attention. When Mo reads aloud, his words entrance people. Reality slips away and they’re left, enveloped by the narrative that his spoken words create.

Cue my “listen to audio books!” pitch. (Just kidding.)

When I’m at my most productive, I feel like one of those background characters, whose world evaporates into Mo’s reading. The walls of my bedroom / office / study carrel fall away with whatever personal matters I’m grappling with that day and I see my words, my characters, and my fictional universe clearly. This is my focused mindset.

But it’s not always easy to achieve. When I’m having trouble finding that quiet place, here’s a technique that I use to settle down and focus on my project at hand:

I read myself into my writing zone.

I sit quietly, pick up a book that inspires me, sip my coffee, and read. This is really helpful with any written project, be it a term paper, a short story, a report, or a novel. By immersing myself in a quiet activity, my breathing and entire body slows down, and my ADD brain is able to focus.

When using this method to calm my monkey mind, I gravitate toward books that relate to my project at hand. For instance, if you didn’t guess from this post, I’m currently reading Inkheart. While reading about Meggie’s trials and tribulations, I gradually slip into the mindset I need to write for kids of her same age group.

Listening to books is another technique I use to focus my mind. Long before I started producing audiobooks I would plug in my earbuds, close my eyes and listen to the spoken words. It’s a habit I still use today. By listening to the spoken word, you can imagine and learn using a sense other than sight. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty neat. Over the years, I’ve developed my vocabulary and understanding of story structure using this very technique. All you need to do is listen.

Want to share how you settle down to focus? Email me at WriteToJulianna 
An article by ADDitude magazine about ADHD & audiobooks! http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/1489.html



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