I’ve been working on a novel for quite a while now. I received an email about writing a 50,00 word novel in one month—- the month of November, no less–but it would have to be a new work. I did consider it, thought maybe this would be a good way to shake up my brain, get in touch with my intuition, banish my workaholic inner editor. But, but—-it’s not that I’m procrastinating, it’s that I have devoted so much time, so much living with the characters that I am discovering— shaping and writing the words, yes, but there is another process at work here. This process is something I have glimpsed, even grasped in my writing before. Then, like a dream, a shot of steam, a billboard on the side of the ride that we drive by too fast to read, it is gone.
Archive for October, 2009
I’ve made some progress on my novel this week. Yeah!! I’ve had a long stretch of thinking of scenes and situations and movement of the work, but very little of actually putting words down in the documents.
Last week, though, my writers group had its reunion after a summer break. This is our second year of meeting, so we decided to up the game a bit. There are four of us scribblers and after a year of sharing our work and witnessing the only man among us finish two, count ‘em, two books which will come out early in 2010, we agreed we can all reach a little higher.
I play computer solitaire. A lot.
I started playing solitaire when I wrote a weekly column. I found it relaxed my brain just enough to let the ideas I had roaming around take root and form themselves into something I could write about. Some people fold laundry or wash dishes (by hand, of course, or it defeats the purpose). I came upon solitaire as the almost mindless activity to cook writing ideas. My hands are engaged and minimal brain activity is required. I’ve been using this technique for years now, trying to avoid any sense of competition with myself, or the game, for higher scores. ( I do confess, I have at times succumbed to the, shall I say, addictive quality of the game, but that is another matter.)