Saturday, January 30, 2016

Writer on Saturday. A Still Life.

The last good day of writing I had was when I was out of town in December--at a writing workshop.  In an effort to recreate that day of  end-to-end productivity I copied it: 1) I walked to the library.     2) There is no '2'.  I walked to the library.

Walking means I have no car, so no easy escape.  No, 'I have a headache I think I'll go to Hobby Lobby and roam the Valentines aisle'.  No 'let me just get a Big Mac and come back and write.'

Walking also meant no laptop today.  I had to use pen and paper, just like in December. This is an interesting exercise and I'm trying to decide if I like it or not.  Since I'm an IT person by day I spend 8-10 hours on a computer Monday through Friday.  I think using a different medium might be a good trick for me.

" the library" means I'm surrounded by quiet, books, clean, and calm, I have one of those four things at home (and you know I have books).  Plus, I have distractions in the house I live in.  I'm so proud of my writing room at home, but I rarely get there.  I get sidetracked by things in the hallway upstairs, or by the timer on the dryer, the dog needing to play fetch or by the comfy recliner up there in our extra TV room, and a rerun of...anything.  I'm easily distracted.  The library had very few distractions.  My hometown library has been recently redesigned, and is beautiful now, although I've always been partial to it.  I was able to snag a shiny new private cubbie, with a table and a door that shuts.

I also brought my notes from December along with some amazing inspirational quotes my teacher shared that day, and it was an auspicious start to three hours of writing.  Another chapter done, an outline begun, some backstory figured out.  And, if I hadn't seen an Ivan Doig book there in the resale room it would have been free.  And did I mention the silence??

Silence.  Heavy, encompassing, thick, lovely silence.  It isn't easy to find.  I couldn't hear anyone on their phone, I couldn't hear doors slam or jewelry commercials or dogs barking.  I couldn't even hear computer mice clicking away, which they were doing fifty feet from me, but silently.

And writing got done.

I'll end with one of the quotes from my stockpile of encouragement:

              I want to live other lives.  I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get.  Writing is my          way of making other chances.  
                                                       --Anne Tyler


  1. Gail -- You mentioned him in December and I made a note of it. And here was this shiny new hardback by him for $2. Nice!