Tuesday 22 March 2011

Finding sea shells and running dogs

I'm in the happy place. The place they call "Flow". It's a mystical place where words just appear on the screen, and you write 3,100 words a day (like I did yesterday). My brain's vision has narrowed to the world of Nathaniel and Brook, and no excuses.

I don't see anything else, I don't really care about anything else (what, they are talking openly about assassinating Quaddafi - who cares?). I'm swept up in the irresistible force that is a New Book in Full Swing. This - when the book just flows through you from somewhere and goes somewhere, leaving traces of black on white as it passes, it the Best Thing Ever. It's the closest to a mystical experience I ever get. Minus a few creepy moments...but that might be for a different blog post.

Authors love sharing. I do. I love talking about the new book, I love sending people my various WIPs. There are some people that think that I do so to show off. ("Look how awesome I am, I've written MORE WORDS THAN YOU YESTERDAY!") Others don't know how to respond. If I send them the current WIP - what do I want from them? Feedback? Praise?

The thing is, none of these are true. I share with other writers because they are my friends (and it's not a competition - anybody entering a competition with me is like a kid racing a dog to "win". The dog just runs for the fun of it, which is exactly why I write. I write to write, not to compete).

I share with my friends and some readers because I'm all excited myself. I'm walking along this beach and there's this beautiful seashell. It's unique, and it's all mine, and I'm full of a sense of wonder and I'm like "wow, look what I found". It's not about my ego, it is, really, about that sea shell. I used to need the praise and ego-stroking, but I'm big now, and I get my self worth from myself. I've gotten most of my ego out of the way, really. I still read my reviews, maybe twice a month, and a good review is great, but none of that has any bearings on looking for and finding the sea shells.

No feedback, no one-star review, no snide remark can get to me when I hit the Flow (or rather, it hits me). The story demands it's written. Nobody can pay me to write, nobody can pay me not to write. No amount of praise or jiggling will get me to write anything long if I'm not feeling it.

So, yeah, the boxer story has reached that critical momentum now at 26k where nothing I could do would stop it. Where I'm racing time because I'll have the LASIK procedure on Friday and fully expect to be blind all weekend and in pain, and part of me wants to push the story out before I lose my sight, if even for a few hours. Getting interrupted in my Flow is really tough. But there's no way I can write the remaining 20k in three days.

As to LASIK itself, I'll just face in head-on. I'm nervous about it, but by comparison, I assume going to the dentist for something major is by far worse. And then it's sorted for the rest of my life.

Meanwhile, I'm "eating miles", as the adapted German expression goes. Just getting out as many words as I can, while I can. Work at work is slow again today, so I may at least manage another thousand words or so.


  1. I am making my hubby read this so he will have a better understanding of what I mean when I say I am in the "Zone." He wanted me to write from 7a-4p and treat my latest career choice like any other job. I tried to explain to him that it just doesn't happen that way. You can't force the story but have to let it come on its own. Your description is perfect!
    Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Zarkina - good luck! My partner's used to me "vanishing" and then coming back with "look, look, that's what I'm working on now!" It's good he's a gamer geek, so he knows how to spend time on his own. :)

  3. I so very much love when you share like this, the inner processes...? lol, I'm not sure what to call it. But I think it's so awesome. Thanks :)

  4. Is he playing Rift yet? If so, he should look us up on Silkweb. Maybe he and hubby could spend their writer-widow time together LOL

  5. I had Lasik; it wasn't painful and the results were good right away, but keep up with the steroid eye drops afterwards.