Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Writing In the Dark and Through the Darkness

Lights out, shades drawn, sitting before the monitor, I enter the story world of my mind and write through the darkness to bring the story to the page. Fingers on keyboard, I sit in the dark pondering what comes nexts, what happens to whom, how best to share my writing experience with a participating reader.

Someone asked me recently, in the tone you come to expect from one that disbelieves and discourages or perhaps from one who is of a critical mind, "How DO you spend YOUR days?"

Without the benefit of an alarm, I awake just before or right after sunrise. I pad, sock-footed, through the house to the writing room, in which three Simese cats have chosen to den. Other times, if the glow of dawn approaches, I pause to admire the sunrise of another day.

I turn the computer, monitor, and mouse on, then visit the restroom. (Notice, turn on computer happens before bathroom pit stop.) If it's a cold morning, I slip on a sweater. A chilled bottle of water and glass in hand, I return to the computer room and the cats. These three regard me with much suspicion. In the glow of the monitor and with the keyboard highlighted by a small desk lamp just over my right shoulder, I sit down before the keyboard.

First thing, I block internet access for at least 60 to 120 minutes. My reward for writing for one to two hours is that once the internet block expires, I do a short check social networking sites and email. I get up, pace a bit about the room, retrieve another bottled water from the fridge, and return to the keyboard.

Again, I block the internet, another hour or two, and write. I focus on getting into the point of view characters head, heart, and current action. I share that characters experiences in this story world on the page. I write in short stints of one to two pages at a time.

For breaks, I do breathing and stretching exercises, then again I write. Somewhere around this time, I make a green smoothie and enjoy the smoothie with a handful of pecans or sunflower seeds. Mid-morning, I make breakfast, usually oatmeal with nuts or fruit and a drizzle of local honey. I make quick visits to my favorite writing blogs and then again I write.

In between writing stints, I load the dish washer or clothes washer, and I also shower, apply makeup, get dressed, do household chores, then I must dislodge those still suspicious felines from my chosen writing spot and begin another writing session, after which I perform other household chores, feed pets, take the dog out, make lunch, and assist in making dinner, to name a few non-writing activities.

I spend time with hubby in the evenings after dinner. We watch our favorite recorded television shows, play with the puppy, and laugh and enjoy each others' company.

Each day, I spend anywhere from a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 12 hours writing, more so leaning toward the latter rather than the former. Writing is my job. Writing is what writers DO with their DAYS.

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