Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 3 Showing up to the page

Of all the things that writers and other creatives do, showing up is the most important. If you don't show up to your journal or your canvas or your computer, nothing will happen. And each time you do, you reconfirm to yourself that you are committed to the act of creating.

I've had trouble showing up to the page today. Yesterday when I was writing chaper 13, it all went really smoothly. I was in the flow, in the zone. The dialog came pouring out, the purpose of the chapter in the overall scheme of the book I knew in advance. Best yet, my characters sparked off each other and I could feel the tension I needed to write. So, of course, I expected more of that today, that I was on a roll.

So when it didn't start easily, I gave myself a bit of a break. I read a little Wallace Stegner on writing fiction. Nice thoughts, good ideas but he didn't hold the answer. I sat out in the main room with a couple of others who were reading, thinking that maybe I was just a little isolated, a little lonely. But the restlessness didn't pass and I came back into my room and sat down at the little fold-up table I'd brought with me and I got up and paced around my room and sat down and checked email and then went into the bathroom and straightened up all my toiletries so they were in perfect alignment and then I remembered my vitamins and I decided I needed more tea and I went out to the kitchen and everybody was hard at work and I felt, well, left out of the game somehow.

So I marched myself back in here, sat down with a piece of paper and did a list of scenes that might go in my book next and I realized Al had to confront Ellie about her scars and her silent past and so I just plunged in. It wasn't great, it may not even be good. But I got going finally. I showed up and stayed in the seat. Whew!

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