Posts Tagged ‘free writing’

Deep breath in. Smell the coffee. Relax those tense muscles. Transform from the businesswoman you’ve been all day to an author. Preferably in the next fifteen seconds. Right. (Sarcasm intended.)

Perhaps the greatest struggle of authoring is that simple switch: from the ordinary and not so ordinary of real life to the fabulous fiction of your other self. And it isn’t always so easy to open up the laptop, turn on the music, and hit the writing-ground running. This blog very often serves as the transition, this corner at Starbucks as the muse I never had, and the well-worn iTunes albums as the horn that pulled the Pevensies into Narnia.

Tomorrow marks the start of Camp NaNoWriMo. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t long to jump into their luscious descriptions of mountains and lakes. I like the camps in April and July far more than their better-known father: National Novel Writing Month. At camp, there is grace and friendship and inspiration aplenty. 50,000 words, phsaw. 10,000 becomes the very doable minimum. And writers are thrown into cabins to bond across the country. Not to mention the writing prompts already filling up my Facebook wall. The very idea of the camp sends my writing self scrambling to pack a virtual bag and head for the hallowed hills of authordom. The camp’s tagline:

“An idyllic writers retreat, smack-dab in the middle of your crazy life.”

Oh, me and my crazy life long to join the retreat! But free-writing just isn’t in the time frame. Editing The Lure of Lemons consumes me. Day and night, my mind is pulled deeper and deeper into the world and the stories. For now, that is exactly where my focus needs to be.

Yet real life still tugs at me–making me feel like I’m stumbling around my day on sleeping pills. The morning was spent getting some kind of test (there have been so many lately, I’ve quite honestly lost track of what one I had today) at the hospital, followed by breakfast with my mom, accounting and meetings, and more business. But now I’m here. At my beloved Starbucks, warmed by sales in the state of Washington, by bright and encouraging family, and a cherished letter from an even more cherished friend reflecting on the awesomeness of our friendship. Life may be trying to use me like the rope in tug-of-war, but I’m loving the journey.

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Lately, words have been a struggle. To blog, to speak, to hang with friends, to write, to edit (especially), to chat on the phone, to email, to Facebook, even to text. Words have not come as easily as I have been used to. It is as if only my five-year-old nephew and I have been occupying the same space in the Universe. Not to say I have not had some really great and wonderful conversations with the other people in my life–they just have not been easy.

I wish I could say that my slowed blogging pace would start to self-correct or that I would begin returning emails and phone calls more quickly or that my dialogue with humans would make sense once more. But I am not expecting a return to verbal-competency anytime soon.

What does a writer do when she forgets how to use words? Well, so far she takes three times as long editing, stops free writing altogether, and finds solace in every cup of coffee. But she also pushes herself to get better by continuing to talk to people, by sorting through thoughts, by offering fervent prayers to God, and by consistently writing. Oh, and by trying to sleep–which, so far, I have epicly failed at.

In the meantime I am grateful that my job consists of just as much business as it does writing. The business side of my brain seems to be functioning just fine. Ever so grateful that I earned this diploma!


(Fun–or not so fun?-story about the diploma. It was supposed to be mailed a couple of months ago, but it never was sent. My sister just told me that it was in the Nyack campus building that had the explosion. I find it very strange that the diploma I can now hold in my hands was nearly blown up.)

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