Life has a funny way of sorting itself out. It really does. Call it fate, cosmic coincidence, or divine intervention. Whatever you call it, it works.
I needed more time to write, and suddenly the sea parted and the time appeared. (So, too, did several new clients, which is both fantastic and time consuming–but no complaints here!) With my new time and schedule, I have spent every morning this week working with clients and then writing during a three hours gap. This schedule will change next week, as I’m sure it will do for the remainder of the semester, but the great thing is that I’ve had a chance to enjoy the time and to see how helpful it is to have it.
There will always be interruptions. Last night I was being called upon to run a late-night errand, and as I was leaving I was also frantically trying to capture an idea in my notebook. But in the end both tasks were accomplished. I ran the errand and I finished the thought. (Of course, I still need to finish said thought in the article I’m currently working on today, but…c’est la vie)
So…I’m writing. I’m writing. There is nothing else I’d rather be doing right now. And it feels great.
I keep seeing signs for flu shots. I can’t remember the last time I had the flu (which is why I avoid the shots). Right now I have the Writing Bug.
I can’t stop writing. Last night alone I wrote three articles for a website. Earlier in the day I wrote a week’s worth of blog posts. Today I have a dozen ideas for things to write next, and new ideas for my book, which has stalled since Comic Con.
The Writing Bug isn’t a bad thing. The only time it poses a challenge for me is when I don’t have the time to write, when I’m driving, and when I’m supposed to be doing something else. Clearly the Writing Gods have a sense of humor.
Even now, I’m writing this post and I have at least 6 more that I want to write.
I think I’ve mentioned here that in writing my book I haven’t been able to really focus on writing when writing on my laptop. I’ve had far greater success writing things out by hand in my pink notebook with my pink pen. (Pink is very important!)
I’ve blown through more than one pen and I just finished filling a notebook, so now it’s time for the transcription to begin. I’m sure some editing will take place during the transcription, which is good. I’m still figuring out a system to get things into order given that I didn’t write anything chronologically in my pink notebook. However, I’m sure that system will come organically as we undertake this…ah…undertaking.
Last night I started writing the intro to the third chapter of my book. Then I got interrupted and wasn’t able to come back to it. There was a 50/50 chance, I knew, that I might forget what I was working on. Fortunately, it seems to have stuck with me.
Don’t you hate it when you have an idea and you can’t write it down, and then you lose it? I’m serious when I say I’ve probably written dozens of books over the years…in my head. I have to work on the “writing it down” part.
I actually dreamed the entire plot of a novel back in 2003. It was Thanksgiving weekend and I woke up with the entire thing in my head, from start to finish. And oddly enough, I’ve never forgotten the plot. It’s as fresh today as it was back then. One of these days I’m going to write it out and publish it.
As it turns out, all of the distraction had a positive effect on the book today. All of a sudden, as soon as I opened my pink notebook and grabbed my pink pen, the words started flowing forth in a torrent of pink ink.
I really think that there is something different that comes with writing nonfiction as opposed to fiction. I was discussing this with an author friend of mine today. He didn’t understand what I was saying when I said that this book is harder than writing a novel, and then I drew the comparison of trying to write a 250+ page essay or research report. That’s essentially what I’m doing. And then he understood.
Oddly, though, I think that taking time to work on fictional pieces and writing articles and working on my blog and posting to Twitter have all helped. There is a subtle shift from fiction to Twitter to my blog to articles to the nonfiction book, and so doing those things together allow my brain to shift gears from fiction to nonfiction.
This isn’t procrastination–this is the writing process!
I’m still distracted. I sit down to write and manage to send a few emails, write a blog entry, and have a conversation.
I’ve realized that I can’t work on my book on my laptop. This book is non-fiction, and writing it requires a different part of my brain. Normally I can bang out pages upon pages of fiction on my computer, but this new book is a different kind of beast. Now I’m using notebooks-pink of course-with pink pens. (Everything must be pink. That’s just me) I can write much easier with pen and paper, and then I do the editing when I transfer the work in the notebook to the computer.
I suppose this is just another writing quirk that I didn’t know I had. I used to write with pen and paper all the time, but eventually my little netbook became my best friend. Now we’re like a big family. Every piece has its place, and while it will take longer to write this book with pen and paper and multiple revisions as it moves from page to screen, I’m confident that the quality will be that much greater because of the process.
I’m writing a book. I have it all mapped out and I’m really excited about it. I just need to focus.
I can’t write chronologically. Even though I have a carefully planned outline that tells me where to go, I can’t sit and write from start to finish. I get these random ideas that pop into my head and then I have to go with them, even if they belong toward the end of the book.
I also tend to divert my attention when working on the book to things like my journal, Twitter, and my blog. Like this blog. Suddenly I’m writing blog posts about trying to work on my book.
I think these distractions help me, though. It may seem counter-intuitive, but I think writing of any kind will help me work on the book. As long as I’m writing, it’s like a break for my brain but it forces my brain to switch gears and go from staunch non-fiction to creative-mode, which helps me get back into the book when I’m ready. I guess it’s like interval training for a marathon. Sprint, jog, walk. Repeat. (I’m also starting a training session to run a half-marathon in August. Go figure)
In any case, this little digression has been helpful. Now back to the book. 🙂