Monday, October 12, 2015

The personal miracle of writing.

Writing is such a miracle. A personal miracle. Three days after starting, I'll have 9000 words on paper. More importantly, I'll have characters coming alive, doing things. And it feels real.

I've learned how to do this. Get up in the morning, drink coffee and read the paper. Take a shower and get dressed. (Important, this -- I can't write in my bathrobe.) Very often I get my starting point and or scene while I'm showering. Maybe eat some brunch, then go to one of my three places where I write, the downstairs office, the couch, and my bed. These days I usually start on the bed.

Then, usually, several hours go by while I'm lost in my new world. When I stall, I put a pillow over my head and ruminate. If I fall asleep, that's OK. Often I wake up with the idea I needed. Mix and repeat.

I get up, have some snacks, wander around a little, then go back to writing. The important thing is the stay in the fictional dream. To have that "feel" for the world I'm in.

Often I'll finish by 4:00 or 5:00, which is pretty early, but once I get that 3000 words down, I stop. I like to save up creative energy, start fresh with every session. I will sometimes read through and correct obvious mistakes.

I most often read what I wrote to Linda, who will point out if I've gone off course, but usually tells me it's good. While reading aloud I'll often catch things and correct them.

Then I let myself relax a little. Do some chores, watch T.V., that kind of thing.

When I go to bed at night, I try to get a glimmer of where I want to start the next day. But only a glimmer -- I hold off anything more than that.

If I get stuck, sometimes I'll take a break and try for an evening writing session. Sometimes I'll go for a walk in the Badlands. Sometimes I just do that for a change of pace. It gets me out of the house. Writing is a very solitary activity.

So I sit down, and I do this every day, and 3 days later I have 9000 words, and 14 days later I have 32,000 words, and so on.

Like I said, a miracle, that works to revive my faith in life whether anything else happens or not. It just feels good to do, and it feels like what I should be doing.

A personal miracle.

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