Friday, February 26, 2010

Right-brain fatigue

I'm back today from the writing retreat. Five full days to work on the novel. I completed 7 chapters in draft form with many remaining questions and issues. I like that part of the process. I'm on a One on the Enneagram personality chart and we love lists and organizing our thoughts.

Yesterday, I wrote three chapters and reworked one. It was the most productive day of the five. Perhaps because I could feel the time dwindling and the luxury of spending all day every day with my characters evaporating for the time being. And it may well be that I had so wonderfully primed the pump that I had much to say.

I wrote from 9-12, continued writing in my head over the silent lunch, wrote from 12:30 to 2, took a long walk on the beach, wrote again from 3-4:30. I could have gone all writing all night.

Not surprisingly, I woke up brain weary. I'd stayed so far to the right in my imagination all day yesterday that I couldn't do any more writing; I'd drained the well. I got up with leisure, wrote in my journal, packed for the trip home, and then spent about two hours asking myself questions (no answers yet) about the chapters to come but mostly staring out at the bay at high tide.

I didn't judge any of the ideas or organize them or decide whether they were feasible. I just wrote four pages of notes that may well serve me the next time I sit down to write.

Then I came home and did physical things like unpacking and grocery shopping and cat petting and bed changing and mail sorting and email answering. I feel more or less back in my life and tomorrow I hope to be back into both parts of my brain.

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