Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tip from the Middle ... that's me!

You know what? We didn't move books into our 'temporary retreat'! Nah. I mean would you? Sure we have some - the ones I need for book club refresher reads and a few we were in the middle of when packing up ... but not all my writing books. Later on this week we're going to get an e-reader with our swag but we haven't gotten there yet.

So today, dear readers, I'm going to give you a tip from the middle (that's me) - not the top, not the bottom but squarely - uh no, never squarely - but roundly in the middle.

Tip: Don't be precious about your writing

Middle: moi

How it Works in My Life :  What I mean by this is that it doesn't serve your writing to get all precious about how it comes about. Precious means that I have to have my 'special pen' or if I don't write in the morning it just doesn't happen, or I can't write in chaos, or in order. Be very firm with yourself when you feel one of these coming on. Sternly tell yourself that if Margaret Drabble could write many fine novels while also folding nappies and keeping a husband fed - well then so can you. If Stephen King wrote his first novel wedged into the laundry room with his little Underwood (or whatever it was) so can you!  I became aware of this again when our ex-home was in complete uproar of packing and so forth and I figured out the trickiest plot point on my novel. I sat down at a desk over-flowing with junk and papers and sticky things and rat-tat-tatted that sucker on to the virtual page. And on Tuesday when I found myself here, at the temporary retreat, I obliterated the first two chapters of True and STARTED AGAIN. And that is working at a little quaint white wooden table with the keyboard resting on my lap and the dog pacing like a frenzied fiend (he just wants to know when we're going home to our REAL house) and the living-space floor completely covered in boxes of stuff for which there is no place.
How did I manage to do this, you wonder?  I was stern with my precious writer personality. The one that likes everything nice and neat and also that wants all my little totems around, my CHAP cup stuffed with pens that don't work and I don't use pens anyway, and my little Buddhist statue, and etc ... I said to her, "precious writer! you can write anywhere. This is a nice table and there is a view of the tangled garden which is very nice, and you brought the most important thing with you - your mind! So sit down and write!" And I did. So can you.
See you later.


Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - You make such a well-taken point. Writing can't be "boxed-in" like that. If you wait for "the right time" to write or "the right mood" or "the right context," that's all you'll ever do when it comes to writing - wait.

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Yep! Can't divorce our minds, can we? They are with us 24/7!! And a good job too...

Liza said...

Yep, good advice. Kind of like Nike...just do it. The only things that stop us are the things we LET stop us!

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