After the deadline
Good morning, everyone! I'm writing from rainy Boston. I finished the first draft of my work-in-progress on Monday and took of Tuesday morning to visit friends from out west who are in town. We had a fun, relaxing lunch that included a lot of laughs and Boston cream pie. Now we're spending the day with our little guy, who is playing with his trains and going, "Toot, toot!"
A nice, much needed break...
I'm catching up on RWQ, and now I want to go to that cabin pictured in Stella's blog! I love to hear and read writers on their writing process. I'm not a regimented writer but I'm disciplined. I've found that I do best when I can let the forces of "abandonment" and "concentration" play out.
For instance, on the drive to Boston yesterday, I figured out a problem that's been bugging me in SAINT'S GATE, my work-in-progress. I'll address it in the next draft, but I know this epiphany couldn't have happened if I'd stayed at my desk and tried to force it. It took walking away from the story. "Abandoning" it for a while -- which is different from abandoning it altogether! It's not quitting, and it's not really taking a break. I know I'll be back at my desk tomorrow. I know when I want to have the next draft finished. Deadlines give the abandonment a necessary framework. But I wasn't thinking about the story. I was thinking about lunch with our friends.
I love the way Kenneth Atchity in A WRITER'S TIME describes the creative process. I highly recommend this book to any writer.
This yin-yang of focusing on the work and walking away from the work helps me on a day-to-day basis, too. A long walk along the river in the midst of a pressing deadline gives everything a chance to sift around in the back of my mind. I don't consciously focus on the writing. I just walk.
Okay, the trains aren't amusing Leo anymore. Off I go!
Have a great day, everyone, and I'd love to hear how your approach a creative project -- or what you do when you've been nose-to-the grindstone and get a bit of a break.
Oh, the other thing I do after finishing a book? Clean the refrigerator. ;-)