Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wading into the Sea of Life for Some Peace and Quiet

I'm working on both new material and revisions for my work in progress, which presents a challenge for someone like me. Revisions pretty much have to be tackled at the computer. New material I find easiest to do longhand in a notebook, which I then type into the computer later.

I've been tightening previous chapters to get ready for submission, which takes a certain head space for me. I took a little break from writing new stuff while I did that, but I needed to get back into the story and get chapters ready for my critique partners. We meet every two weeks, which really puts the drive on to produce.

Unfortunately, all the tweaking of my previous material was taking up the lion's share of my creative thinking. But I wanted to get more than a scene to my prolific critique partners, which is about all I was putting out for the last few meetings. This week I was determined to get some new writing done.

Several distractions later and I still hadn't forged ahead very far. But I noticed I was getting somewhere when I pulled out my notebook on the bus and got down to business. So tonight I decided to head to the mall to kick my writing into high gear. It worked like a charm.

First I wrote on the bus heading out to the mall after work. Then I dropped off my film for processing, the initial impetus for going to the mall in the first place. Then I headed for the food court, ordered dinner and continued writing as I ate. I looked around a bit, found some great picture frames at Dollarama, six of which I bought. Then I headed home, which involved waiting for the bus, taking the bus across the bridge, waiting for another bus, and taking that one home.

That translates into writing. Lots of it. Standing and waiting for the bus is twenty minutes of writing. And there's no one to distract me with talking. Riding the bus is more writing. The whole evening was a nice break for myself, wandering around thinking. Looking at stuff and thinking. I go to the mall to regroup and re-energize. Seeing all the displays sparks my creativity. People-watching sparks my creativity. And enforced solitude during travel really gets those words down on paper. There's no one to ask me 'what do you think about this or that problem?' No one to tell me all the things they've been doing. No one to remind me we've got this and that coming up on the calendar. Nothing to use up my time and energy like the dreaded housework.

My evening at the mall was a little oasis of sanity. And I came out from tonight's meanderings with a scene that really gets some momentum going for my female character. Plus when I got back, I still had time to visit with my mom and grandma, do a load of laundry, wash some dishes, talk to my sister on the phone, and take my dog Xena for a short walk. Somewhere in there I have to get some sleep before tomorrow...


Unknown said...

I'm in exactly the same spot as you are. Trying to revise the first three chapters for a proposal to send out. While still wanting to produce new stuff for my critique partners.

And, I do exactly as you do: revise on the computer, write first draft in a notebook.