Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Where I Write, How I Write, and Other Musings

Although I have an upstairs office, my best creative time comes while writing at my dining room table. I hadn't given much thought as to why I prefer this set-up until we began a discussion today in the "Writing YA for Girls" class about writing routines.

E is probably the biggest reason I work downstairs these days. In the month's following her first surgery and homecoming, writing in the dining room was a lot more convenient than running downstairs and back up every time she needed help in the bathroom, getting dressed, or getting into and out of bed. Along the way, I invested in a laptop which allowed me even greater flexibility in where I worked. P, my resident computer geek, even set me up so I was networked with our printer and totally wireless anywhere in the house.

Now that E's back at school full-time, and doing so well healthwise (knock on wood), my muse still prefers the dining room.

A typical writing day begins after I drop off the girls at school. First I wake up my writer's brain by working out. Then I return home, steep a pot of green tea or break out a trusty can of Diet Coke, and spread out my notes and post its, many of them scribbled while in the car. Before diving into KM, I read a chapter from a craft book and write my Morning Pages ala Julia Cameron. Then after checking email for anything that needs immediate attention, I review my work on KM from the previous day and forge ahead with new creative.

Some days I write in circles before I get into the flow of things. Other days my characters talk faster than I can type. If I'm able to put in three solid hours of writing I consider the day a success.

My goal at the end of that time is a modest one. Two pages. Some days those pages are crap. Other days my writing sings. Without fail, I need to wade through a lot of crap before I get to the good stuff.

Another reason I prefer the dining room these days is that the table's centered in front of a picture window. Our property is wooded, and the slope of the yard out back leaves the impression that I'm all alone in the big woods. The leaves are beginning to turn. Soon the yard will be ablaze with color, and now and again a fox wanders by. Being this close to nature does my muse good.

Most recent read: Adele Griffin's My Almost Epic Summer.

Current read: Doppelganger by David Stahler, Jr.

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