You may recall in a post last week (linked HERE for your convenience), I talked about doing a guest post for a friend and fellow author. If I remember correctly, I wasn’t sure when or if he would actually use the post. Turns out he did and you can find that post HERE. Now, while it didn’t necessarily help traffic to his blog much (I am an acquired taste, afterall), it did drive a little but of traffic to this here spot in the blogosphere, at least for a day or so. Which was cool in my humble opinion. That’s what our writing group (and I hope most of them) is really about, helping to elevate our fellow authors.
As Tim mentioned to me in a separate message, it’s all about timing. And it is.
My dad and I have had that conversation often. He is one of my biggest fans and supporters. Many times the support comes in the form of an athletic company’s slogan, “Just Do It.” Although usually he just looks at me and says, “Nike, dude. What are you waiting for?”
It’s a fair question. I know to those who enjoy reading my work that perhaps it seems I’m doing this whole ‘becoming a published author/writing books” thing extreeeeeeeemly slowly. But much like the point in the Muse/Inspiration post, I explained to Dad last weekend, that it really wasn’t like turning on the light switch.
It is very much a timing thing.
In fact, it’s almost entirely a timing thing. If you do any reading on what it takes to be a writer (or go to any workshops), they will preach the merits of always having a certain time of day to write. Develop the habits and rituals so that when that time of day comes or you find yourself in that particular writing spot wherever that may be, your brain’s muscle memory will kick in and be all, “oh shit! This is when it’s time for us to write. Time to bleed out the magical prose that’s going to make us independently wealthy. Let’s DO THIS!!!”
Right? I mean that’s how it works, if you believe those authors who have advanced so far in their career that all they have time for is teaching others how to write and be successful.
I would love it if that were the case. Most working authors that I have met have some variation of that. Others write when they can–grateful for the stolen minutes they can spend dancing with the keyboard.
I’m in the second group. I know that if I can take a lunch, I’ll get an hour for that lunch. I also know that like most Americans, I eat too fast. This gives me about 35-45 minutes to write. Sometimes it’s in my journal. Sometimes it’s here, giving you some of that down home lunchtime bloggy goodness. That is if I get an uninterrupted lunch.
If not, I can do some writing in the morning before work. This was my modus operandi when I was cranking out some work for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) last November. And I have found that I can also get a good hour or two if I’m lucky before the head hits the pillow. But there is just enough variation in my schedule that it becomes difficult to set these times/rituals in stone.
And that’s just the physical side of it. There is very much the mental side of it. When I write, I am for the most part transcribing a movie I am watching in my head. I should clarify that. For these blog posts, I pretty much just sit here and type thoughts as they cross my brain. Very little editing happens. Unfortunately, there is very little filtering as well. Sorry about that. But, that’s the way my mind works. However, when I’m writing a work of fiction, I am not really thinking about what to write as much as I am watching a movie that is playing in my head and trying to put that movie in to words on the page. When that happens, I pretty much lose track of time. It’s pretty trippy and pretty fantastic, if I’m being honest. I’m watching a movie in my mind and then an hour or 3 later, I look down and there it is transcribed on the page/screen/notebook.
I would love to use my lunch breaks and keep advancing the fictional works in progress forward, however with the whole ‘time lapse’ thing that happens I could easily lose an afternoon. I did that once. At a previous job. I mean…this story HAD to come out. I’m pretty sure it was my brain’s way of coping with my first divorce. I wrote what I have come to call my AutoBi-Fi (autobiographical fiction). I can’t really read it anymore, but as I was writing it, I was stealing minutes left and right at work to finish that thing. I coincidentally wrote a piece about hating your job (weird how those two things happened at the same time).
So..yeah…it’s all about timing. Having the time and the movie reel playing at the same time is what makes the magic happen.
Oh shit, you just got back here from Tim’s blog?? You let me ramble on all this time? Yeah. I guess I probably should have waited until you were back, but I wasn’t sure I’d have the time.
After all, lunch is almost over.