Getting published is a real be-yatch! Hear about my ups, downs and a few random rants in between.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Gone Fishin'

Not really.

But when I'm in the middle of a WIP (that's work-in-progress for the writer acronym illiterate) that's what it feels like.

When people who like to fish, go on a fishing...expedition? trip? What do they call it? When they "go fishing" they take sitting in a boat in the middle of a lake seriously. Just them, the fish and their pole hanging deep. They cherish the quiet and they need it because otherwise the fish may never bite.

Same as writing a book. Once I dip my fishing pole into the creative well, I just want to sit there and let the fish jump on my hook. I'm perfectly content to think of nothing else until the well is dry.

Of course, in my case, my pole is the computer and the fish are the little ideas that float from the ether down into my brain.

Here's the thing, I take ridiculously long breaks in between books. And I think it's because I zone out so deeply when I'm writing.

I wrote my last book in September of 2005 and swore I'd start another after a month (I always say that). Come November I was still luxurating in my "down" time. Notice the quotation marks. I don't HAVE any down time. When I'm not writing it just means something else fills up that space (like sleeping).

There's always a point where all this sleeping actually begins to bother me. I mean come on, how much sleep does a person need? Eight hours?! Madness, I say.

I can do a 15-hour day on three, four-hours tops, easy!

Still, eventually, I start chastising myself for not having the focus to sit and write every day NO MATTER WHAT.

Which is truly easier than it sounds. And for the writers who can do it - mad, mad kudos to you.

But damn the guilt, I'm back in the saddle and as usual the rest of the world has disappeared. Here's how you can tell I'm working on a new book:

** You're talking and I'm saying "un-huh" or even laughing in the appropriate spots, but what I'm really thinking is - Yeah, in chapter four Josey can get hit by a bus and then wake up with super powers.

** I start saying "I'm tired," a lot because I've started late-night writing binges without the luxury of sleeping in - after all I have kiddies to get up and a job to drag my sorry butt to.

** While in the car I'll suddenly start barking out orders for someone to hand me a pen because the ether has just given me the plot line for chapter 10. I then proceed to drive and scribble down the info, dialogue included, on the back of an old ATM receipt I found lying under the seat.

** The same scenario as above, only when I'm driving alone it's much scarier!

** I become a complete Schizoid Sally - one minute lucid and pleasant, the next distracted, irritated and annoyed because the conversation with you is disrupting the dialogue in my head. Sshhh, I can't hear!

** Suddenly, things I used to enjoy - being outside, eating, sleeping - become bothersome.

Yeah, and you thought writing was a career choice. Now I ask you, who asks to be that damn nutty on purpose?!


Blogger Disco Mermaids said...

Do you get Brainstormer's Face? My wife has described to all of our friends what my face looks like when I've been possessed by an idea for a new book or a solution to a problem in my current W-I-P. I don't know how many times my wife has said, "What book are you thinking of?" when I was supposed to be paying attention to her.

I guess what I'm saying is, I'm glad I'm not the only one.

- Jay

11:48 PM

Blogger Miss P AKA Her Royal Cliqueness said...

Never had a name for it, but I think I definitely get it. Mine looks like a scowl, a combination of mean and confused.

6:35 AM

Blogger writeaway said...

It's hilarious. When I'm working, it's ALL about the writing. I was just thinking the other day how lucky I am to be able to drop my daughter off at school at nine and for the most part work up until she comes home at 3:00. I may not be doing actual writing but believe me, I'm doing something along those lines. For now, it's pretty structured. I'm not one of those people that stay up all night writing. I do, however, drive my hubby nuts when during the day, all I do is talk about my current W-I-P. Ahhh, that's the price you pay for marrying a writer.

9:41 AM

Blogger Miss P AKA Her Royal Cliqueness said...

I have a feeling that even when I can quit the wicked day job I'll still be up night-owling. Since my little one is still 3 years away from public school age - I'd be juggling keeping her occupied. So I won't even entertain the thought of ever getting a lot of day-time work in. :::sigh:::

11:42 AM

Blogger Melinda said...

Don't you miss those days before you had a kid when you could just immerse yourself in writing stuff all WEEKEND without being interrupted every five minutes by the kid demanding Mommy time?

Me too, I said wistfully.

10:59 PM


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