♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
How do you get ready for a long writing session?
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Is stopping an option? I remember back when writing excited me like nothing else and to prepare was nearly akin to foreplay. Stopping was the greater problem. I could not wait to get back to the task and could sit for hours, even when I had run out of ideas to move forward. Then, a switch to editing served to reignite the flame. Reading over my work, editing, writing went on for hours and hours at a time.
Today, that isn’t possible anymore. Between real life and experience wearing down the shine, getting into such a grove again is difficult at best. Most authors work to support themselves, despite what the movies tell us. Crunching a 9 to 5 position can put quite a damper on your creative juices. How so? Well, you have to try to funnel all that energy into times outside of punching the clock. You know how well that works, to tell the muse when she can and cannot stop by. When the day ends, rest is first on your mind, not to prepare for more work.
Some of us are lucky enough to sneak a little writing in at the office. Earlier in my career, my positions and locations gave me a lot of leeway on that. Still, I could only produce a few pages. Eventually, you aren’t in the same places or jobs anymore. Eyes start to watch every move you make. Or, perhaps, it was always that way. So the muse has to wait or you find trouble.
Having a notebook or sticky notes to write down random ideas during the day isn’t enough to keep that valve open. It helps, but as said above, you’re exhausted at the end of a shift. Then, when you’ve tamped it down long enough, the muse feels you don’t want her around. So the visits are fewer. Even if you try to call on that part of you when you do have time later, it’s like having given a partner the cold-shoulder for no reason. That call is begrudgingly answered, if at all.
Back in the day, I prepared by grabbing my notebook and a trusty pen that had plenty of ink for the job. Yes, I hand wrote my work in the beginning. This was well before computers were so common place. Typing was a skill that I hadn’t quite mastered yet. Although I had to work to support myself, the skills I learned in those jobs and the doors they opened to other opportunities and learning were priceless. Don’t feel sorry for me, too much.
The growth and learning, even healing, I experienced from my work life has been greatly beneficial to my authorly pursuits. For instance, without my stint as a secretary at a certain institution, my graduate studies would not have happened. While I gave a lot of time to my 9 to 5 life, seemingly taking so much away from my writing, that life gave me much needed skills and advantages. In fact, in the above mentioned position, I was highly regarded by colleagues because I was a writer. I received accolades that assisted my pursuit, and a great deal of encouragement, which was needed at the time.
Today, preparing for a writing session consists of finding enough time to sit down and do the thing. There are no rituals, but I have heard that some authors have these. I might gather some snacks, a coffee/tea, or whatever. I need quiet to write well, so privacy is a must. My laptop is set up and ready to go at all times.
Life, however, always has many other plans first. Being a mother and full time worker to support our small family requires most of my attention. It’s noisy. There’s no privacy. The goblin eats my snacks and interrupts constantly. Honestly, this I would not trade. I am proud to be a parent, and I am doing well in my career. The writing will come and I will find more and more time as my sweet girl continues to grow. These moments while she is little are too precious to miss.
So–for now, I just picture the time when I can get to business again–us with dueling laptops, working on our assignments. That will be nice. I even have in mind the project I’d like to focus on as that time nears. While I fenagle the schedule, I am also taking the time to rekindle my joy, which is a root of my writing driving. I can feel it building in my gut again and it is a beautiful thing. Whatever obstacles or laments are dogging you, take the time to address them (as you can–because that may be easier said than done–I know). Your joy deserves that–and you do, too.
I don’t look forward to the sore shoulders I’m sure to get from hours at the computer… For now, I guess I am in a constant state of prepare for the time.
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