Monday, March 1, 2010

Writing withdrawal

This is my third day back from the writing retreat, my first full day back at work. I spent Saturday getting my house back in order, everything unpacked, and then doing my taxes. I spent Sunday at my Women and Money group, going to a play, doing grocery shopping. I never gave a thought to my novel or my characters after spending 6 full days thinking about little else. Actually my imagination was spent and my brain tired after writing all day every day for a week and so I needed a break.

But today I'm in withdrawal. I miss the story, I miss Ellie and Al, the main characters. I miss Hansen, the detective. And I miss being in that space of right and left brain collaboration when things are clicking along and ideas come and surprises happen and the writing is all that matters.

Nearly every writing guru I know suggests that you write every day. And I do. I write in my journal for abut 40 minutes each morning. I often write a poem or a short fictional piece from a prompt. I write for clients. But I don't write on my novel. I don't get up first thing and feed my cats and make tea and come into the office and sit down at the computer.

Maybe it's not wanting to spend more time here at my desk and at the computer (I write my journal and poems and prompts by hand at the dining table looking out into the big cherry tree and assessing the weather for the day. Maybe it's knowing that 30 minutes on the novel is a tease. Maybe it's believing that I can't just turn the spigot of imagination on and off at will, that the pump takes some priming and the flow needs to build momentum. So what I do is set my next retreat in my schedule when I come back so that I can reassure Ellie and Al and Hansen that I'm not abandoning them, just taking a work break to keep us all housed and fed.

And just maybe I'll sneak a little time for them this weekend.

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