November 15, 2014

WRITING COMES FIRST

I am a writer, and my writing comes first. When I am sent home early from my day job, I am grateful for the gift of an unexpected afternoon that I can devote to finishing the next “Great American Novel.” Driving home, I am playing the next few scenes in my head, and suddenly remember that I have errands to run. How nice to have the spare time to meander through the stores while they aren’t too crowded. I dart into the department store, always scouring my surroundings for new ideas, when I notice the clearance aisle. No harm in taking a quick glance, right? You never know when they will have that perfect something that I can’t live without for ninety percent off. My next stop is the grocery store, and I am delighted that there are no lines. The joys of shopping in the middle of the day.

Arriving home, I put the groceries away, and start a pot of coffee. While waiting it to drip into the carafe, I throw a load of laundry in the washer. The dog needs to go out, and since it’s such a beautiful day, I decide that now is a good time to take her for a walk. I give free reign to my muses as she sniffs every molecule of air around her.

Home again, I pour myself a cup of steaming mental fuel, pop Mozart into the CD player, and turn my computer on. Waiting for it to fire up, I take the laundry from the washer and put it in the dryer. Toss in another load. How great is this day? I get to catch up on my housekeeping chores AND write! Even better, the ideas just seem to be flowing inside my brain.

With the next few scenes of my novel begging to be freed from my brain, I sit down in front of my computer. My mind is as blank as the screen in front of me. Where did my muses go? I peruse through my idea jar, unfolding the tiny pieces of paper. All three hundred and ninety five million of them.

I stare at the blank screen for over an hour, typing, deleting, re-typing, and deleting those words. Finally, I manage to squeeze out a good scene for the next “Great American Novel” that I have been working on for what seems like centuries. I re-read the past few chapters, and this new scene fits nicely. I continue writing, and before I know it, I am delighted to have written fifteen hundred more words. First drafts are wonderful! They don’t have to be perfect; you just start pounding on the key board until your characters come back to life.

Watching my characters dance across the computer screen, with Mozart in the background, coffee at my side, and my dog at my feet, I revel in how it feels to write. Because writing comes first

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