Usually, it’s writing that I cheat on other activities with.
Many years ago, in a fluke of proprioception I’m largely unable to reproduce with my moods and in other activities, I mastered the skill of daydreaming with a neutral expression on my face.
This revolutionized the way I move through the world, for it enabled me to almost always be working on my writing, even when I’m not literally writing.
To be honest, it initially struck me as absurd, the thought of creating a soundtrack for a novel, let alone my own novel-in-progress.
After all, a book is, well, a book. It is static and non-visual beyond the fact of seeing a print or e-book’s typewritten words.
To me, it made little sense trying to apply techniques used in visual arts (most notably motion pictures) to a format that most definitely isn’t a picture (this despite the fact that very good books can indeed succeed in creating vivid pictures in the reader’s mind).
No, this isn’t a post about negative self-talk.
That would be the subject of an entirely different, and if I chose to get all self-psychoanalytical about it, lengthy post.
Rather, it’s about what goes on in my mind whenever it’s not otherwise occupied, and, to me, is the furthest thing from negative.
What keeps you up at night?
For some reason, I have a disproportionately large number of friends who are insomniacs.
I’m not talking people who occasionally suffer bouts of sleeplessness like we all sometimes do. Rather, I mean folk who chronically don’t sleep more than a few of hours, every night of their lives.
That must really suck.
The notion of insomnia really came to the fore of my mind due to my recent trip to Australia. From my connection at Los Angeles airport to Melbourne, Australia, the flight was about 15 hours long.
Amy Lee of the alt rock/metal band Evanescence, whose song I borrowed for the title of this post.
When a writer becomes utterly fixated on his/her WIP, is that a sign of artistic revelation or that s/he has become a less well-rounded person?
I’ve twice had it happen where writing has taken over my life, the first time being back in 2004 when I was writing my first (incomplete, shelved) novel, and the second in 2005 when I wrote the first volume of my two-volume historical fiction WIP.
In 2005 especially, I fully gave myself over to my writing.
Okay, picture it: it’s 7am, and you have to leave for the day within the next half an hour.
Willie would be so disappointed in me.
What essentials do you bring with you to get you through the day?
A bag lunch? Your phone? Your mp3 player if that’s separate from your phone? Something to read? Any of the other following useful items:
- A pocket knife
- An extra pair of socks
- Rain gear
- Eyeglass cleaner solution
- A handkerchief
- Lip balm
- A USB drive?
Almost all of the above-mentioned are things I carry with me on a daily basis. Even sunglasses, which I wear all year round, and legwarmers, which are a must in Vancouver, for once the sun goes down, the temperature plummets with it, even in the summer.
But perhaps the very most important thing I pack for a day away from home – something that’s not on the above list due to its lack of material form – is a piece of a story (usually my novel-in-progress, but not necessarily) to think about over the course of the day.
The Second Rule of Engagement
My mind works like a computer. I bet yours does too.