Friday, March 14, 2014
What No Vacation? Writing Every Day
Someone posted this meme to my Facebook page and I started to respond to it there but decided not to. I'm responding here instead.
I've really kind of realized that over the past year or so. When I go on an adventure* I'm thinking about writing. When I went to Vermont last spring I was thinking about writing and actually writing. The first Christmas Day, after I made the Decision, I wrote over 800 words. So yes, I do this. Every. Single. Day. Yet I feel less deprived of leisure than I did before when I was employed at a 'regular' job. It's so strange.
No, I don't always get 800 to 1000 or more words out every day; I have had days when less than five hundred are written down. No, my fictional work doesn't always get all the day's words. Sometimes this blog does. Sometimes it's simply a collection of snippets and notes for what I am working on. But it happens every day before the darkness of night fades into daylight brightness and, with a few exceptions, stops by lunchtime. The only days in the past year it hasn't happened I was anaesthetized for major surgery then hooked up to a morphine drip. (How's that for an excuse, Chris?)
Now it is a part of me like the way I make a pot of coffee in the morning without measuring the grounds or water. When something tries to intrude I feel uncomfortable. . . strange. I don't sit down in front of my laptop with twittering delight every morning. Some days I feel like I'm scratching the words directly out of my skin with a warped, over-used razor blade. But if I try to stay away it feels even worse.
Do I feel deprived writing every day? Oh, no. I feel deprived if I can't. Big difference. It's not always easy or easily achieved. But it does feel good, in and of itself. It feels good to be doing what I actually love doing. It feels good to finish a project, a blog post, or a chapter.
Vacation? One goes on vacation to break routine, get fresh perspectives, to get away from stress-makers, to find or see something new and different, and perhaps to make new friends or visit old ones. I do that all the time when I'm writing. I'm never at home; I'm always somewhere else. What is happening around me is interesting and new. Visiting friends? Oh, yes. Writing to discover new ones and editing to visit old ones. It works for me. I don't do vacations anymore; I do trips and when I do the writing goes with me. And I have the added pleasure of writing down descriptions of new places, thoughts, and people.
*adventure- a series of actions or process used to clear mental pathways and/or induce reticent fictional characters via vehicular kidnapping to disgorge crucial backstory, plot points, and/or dialogue. The process consists of choosing a cardinal direction via random methodology, filling up the gas tank of a vehicle, and heading in the chosen direction, and not turning back until the aforementioned fictional character starts disgorging the needed information. Primarily used by SE Hudnall when frustrated with characters, storyline, and other more generalized forms of writers block. Oddly more effective than would be rationally expected.