A week or so ago, I was inspired to change the POV for one of my WIPs (yes, there are many. Too many). Things were golden for a few days – I loved the new voice, the new tone, there was energy and excitement and the writing flowed.
Until it didn’t.
Day after day I came to work, sat in front of the keyboard, and did absolutely nothing. I walked away and paid bills and cleaned house. I made phone calls. Read books. Played on Twitter. I kept dragging myself back with lectures on discipline and getting things done. And then, two days in a row, the minute I sat down to try to work I got sleepy.
This was not the sort of sleepy that can be overcome by a brisk shake and a good talking to. Oh no. We’re talking the sort of overpowering drowsiness that has me nodding off with the coffee cup literally in hand. A somnolence that lets me sleep at my desk with my head at an impossible angle, not quite supported by the back of the chair. It’s an unnatural, poison apple, hundred year kind of sleep that defies resistance.
So I gave up, two days in a row, wandered off to the couch and dozed. Writing time came and went. Guilt proliferated.
Until I realized, this morning upon waking, that I am not writing for a reason, and actually for a good one.
I need to do some preparation before I go on. The setting isn’t quite right. Some of the characters aren’t fully developed. My subconscious has been frantically trying to get my attention, to send me a message. I’ve been to busy flogging myself to hear what it was trying to say, and was about to commit egregious writing errors with the best of intentions.
So, it just shut me off, like a rogue robot, until the short circuit could be repaired.
For now I’ve taken a step back from actually writing, and my brain is busy supplying me with fresh plot angles and information about my characters that I didn’t know.
And this is a very good thing.
Wasn’t that the whole premise of Seinfeld? The show about nothing. It managed to be hugely entertaining, though, with memorable moments and characters like the Soup Nazi.
It’s been awhile. For several days now I’ve had a little voice in my head endlessly offering commentary and advice. Part of it has been:
you need to write a blog post.
About what? I ask. It’s a reasonable question, and I’d honestly appreciate an answer. But the damned internal voice is a stuck record, with little to offer by way of guidance or inspiration. It just goes on with endless, guilt inducing repetitions of the same old words
you need to write a blog post
All right, all right. Here I am, showing up for work with nothing to offer. Heck, it’s the 4th of July and everybody is going to be too busy with BBQ and explosives and beer to pay any attention to this little corner of the ‘net anyway.
It’s finally summer, that’s one thing. I think it hit 80 yesterday. The sun is bright and the sky is blue. Mosquitoes have feasted on me and my bare feet are bitten and itchy. But I’m willing to pay that price for the feeling of green grass and sunlight on my skin.
Today promises to be a quiet day up here on our chunk of land. The boys are going elsewhere to blow shit up with friends. We’ve made a decision to stay home from the town fireworks. The 4th is always a weird holiday for me anyway, transplanted Canadian that I am. I’m grateful for freedom from work this day. For the freedom of the country I’ve chosen to live in.
I suspect I’ll spend much of the day doing ordinary things like paying bills. And oh, yes – continuing with my initial read through of the most recent revision of the novel formerly known as Swimming North. Because even a holiday with not much going on is a writing day.