This week has been busy … filled with activity and things that needed to happen … other than writing. And you know what? I’ve gotten nothing … let me repeat that … NOTHING written. Other than the fact that I have a lot of other things finished and dealt with, I’m frustrated as heck. (and no, please … I don’t need advice or pity or anything like that … this fixes itself. Sometimes I just put stuff out there because I’m telling the story.)
When I owned the print shop, I was the graphic designer. Large projects would come in and they’d sit on the corner of my desk while all of the small bits of work got finished and sent out. Fortunately, I usually had a deadline looming and that would force me to get to it. But I knew that I needed a large chunk of time to be able to think through the project and build the process for creation.
One thing I learned about myself during those years was that I need empty head space in order to be creative. I can’t do that with a million things floating around in my mind. I can’t work with a cluttered desk (even though supposedly it’s a sign of creativity). If there is clutter on my desk, I feel that it needs to be dealt with and put away. Books back on their shelves, trash in the trash can, papers filed, everything put away. If there are small projects that need to be worked on, those have to happen and be gone so that I’m not thinking about them any longer. And if there is something looming out there … all I can do is think about that. I have to manage it before I can move on.
I can’t write for a few minutes, take a phone call, write for a few more minutes, go do dishes, write again, clear my desk and then write some more. Once I settle in to write, nothing can distract me or I’m sunk.
Now, I’m a multi-tasker from way back. My mind will fling itself a million different ways in order to finish lots of things. I particularly like it when I can start a project on one machine, let it work and do something else while it’s going.
When it comes to writing, though … I need to clear out the dross and find silence. Lots and lots of uninterrupted silence.
Between getting taxes done (that loomed for a couple of days) and then cleaning in order to have people here, dealing with a Jeep in need of TLC and pushing packages to the mailbox, I’ve spent my time doing tasks. Those have filled my world and while it’s great to have them finished, once I drop into bed, I look longingly into the room in my mind that holds my stories. I see them in there, talking among themselves and want to join them. But at that point my eyes are drooping, I’m yawning, and I know that all I will hear from them is mumbling. Nothing will be clear.
It’s funny. Even though I spend most of my life being a hermit … writing as a hermit, I’m desperately jealous of that time. I’m not a huge fan of the world interrupting me. I spent fifty years of my life living in interruptions. I loved every day of those years, but now that I’m here, I am almost frantic to hold on to these long drawn-out periods of peace, solitude and silence.
Max is coming up so that we can do some photography for the cover of Book 10. We’ll have a great weekend. And then, I can hardly wait to greet my stories again and listen as they fill my mind.