I have discovered the key to productivity: Classical music.
It’s not the Mozart effect. It’s the scheduling effect. The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is going on right now in Fort Worth, and they’re streaming the events online. For the semifinals, that has meant that they start a recital at 2:30 in the afternoon, it runs about an hour, there’s a 20-minute break, then another recital. They start up again in the evening at 7:30 with two contestants doing Mozart concertos (so I guess there is some Mozart effect), which takes a little more than an hour, a 20-minute intermission, and then two more.
That ends up being the perfect schedule for a writing day — an hour, a break, another hour, a dinner break and time to do some other things, then an hour, break, hour. I’ve been getting so much done while listening because I don’t want to get up to do other things during that time, and it’s like having a built-in timer.
This week, the classical radio station is intensifying the effect, playing a famous piano concerto performed by a former winner each day at 1. Today is Rachmaninoff’s second concerto, which is my all-time favorite piece of music, so I suppose I have to listen.
Since Thursday (when I remembered this was going on and discovered the streaming), I’ve rewritten three chapters of the novel, revised a novella, and revised a short story, as well as done a lot of work on content for the web site. Sunday I took a break from work and did crossword puzzles and read while listening.
Though all this virtuoso piano work makes me feel even worse about my struggles to use both hands and play more than one note at a time.
Meanwhile, it is possible I’ll end up with even more incentive to write and time to devote to work later this summer. I’ve had a wonky knee that’s been bothering me for nearly a year. Well, it’s actually been bothering me my whole life and I had surgery to fix some of that more than twenty years ago, but it went out on me in a different way last summer in a ballet class. It reminded me of a time when I pulled ligaments, so I did what the doctor had me do then and braced it and rested it, and it got better. then it went out again, and I had another couple of weeks of bracing and resting. It got better, then buckled out from under me on the stairs. Rest and bracing, and it got better. It started really hurting during my recent trip and hasn’t gotten better, so today I made an appointment with an orthopaedist. I’m hoping it’s just a physical therapy thing, but I’m worried that it’s a ligament tear that will require surgery. At least this time around, while I have a two-story house, I mostly live on the ground floor, especially during the summer, and I could easily arrange things to not need to go upstairs for a while. I mostly would just need to move the keyboard and harp downstairs. The last time I had knee surgery, I lived in a third-floor apartment. While I was at home, I was okay, but coming and going from home, especially when carrying things, was a challenge.
Anyway, my insurance has a high deductible, so seeing a doctor gives me incentive to write so I can earn some money, and if I’m not really mobile, that means I have time to write. The appointment’s next week, so I hope I’ll get some answers then.