On average, a person urinates around six times a day.
I have a hunch that writers working on particularly difficult drafting and revision go a lot more.
It's often the case that in an uncomfortable yoga pose, particularly one held for a long time, the mind starts to wander. Among the places the mind goes, is to the question of whether it's time to get up, leave the yoga room, and go to the bathroom.
This morning in class, we got into Frog Pose. I though, "Nope, that's it, I definitely have to pee." Frog pose is an intense hip opener--it is physically uncomfortable. Also, is you believe in this sort of thing, tight hips can correspond to an uptight personality, so opening up might be psychologically uncomfortable as well.
Well, I went into the restroom, but no dice. Huh. Back on the mat, we were entering a pose that I find even more distressing--an advanced version of Malasana (yogic squat). Darn, escaped Frog momentarily just to get right back into the hips even more intensely. Whoops!
A version of this happens in writing life as well. We get started doing something uncomfortable--writing--and the urge to urinate, to have a glass of water, get a snack, whatever. And it's urgent! The body is tricky this way. Writing might not be physically uncomfortable in the way Frog Pose is, but it's intellectually challenging and emotionally scary (possible rejection! will this idea show the world how dumb I am?!). In scary situations, the body tries to remove the pressure--it's fight or flight time. Hence, the urge to pee--the body is trying to get you back into a "safe" space.
But writing an article or doing Frog Pose is not encountering a predator in the wild. So, how to stay there?
One technique I hear my yoga teachers use is letting the class know how long a pose will last--"we'll stay here for 10 breaths." This same insight informs the advice to use the Pomodoro technique with writing, "write just for 25 minutes." Chances are, even if a person really did need to go to the bathroom, have a drink, etc., she could wait for that amount of time. Even more likely, the urge will pass....
Get a Life, PhD
The Professor is In
The Thesis Whisperer
Tenure, She Wrote