I am on the road today, James Taylor’s “Carolina in my Mind” playing, thoughts swirling on some big writing projects, what to keep, trash, rework, blog about, send off, check on the status of…yikes!
Good time for a road trip!
Driving home from NC in April,
I was desperate to find a rest area,
not for the usual reason,
but to jot down the many ideas
that had popped into my head as I drove north.
Nothing like a long drive
to get my mind wandering.
The first thing I wrote:
“I now know the REAL reason
they have rest areas…
so writers have a place to pull over
and offload their thoughts.”
(I just found that paper yesterday.)
“Driving kicks over my writing engine…lets me write full throttle…,” writes Julia Cameron, and she includes a quote from Steven Spielberg: “Why is it that I get my best ideas while driving?“
Cameron credits the act of getting out, being able to see off in the distance and the flow of images coming at us as the pot-stirrers of our thoughts. The pressing matters that usually consume us are temporarily pushed off to the side. What did writers do before cars were invented?
In defense of all this seeming craziness, The New York Times ran a story just this past week on the Virtues of a Wandering Mind.
Q: Are painters, cooks, business managers, singers, teachers, knitters and others similarly affected? I might think about this on my next drive.
Julia Cameron, The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life (New York, NY: Penguin Putnam, 1998), 195.
This post is part of an ongoing discussion at The High Calling Blogs book club.
I’m writing a book and I’ve noticed a trend: At the beginning of the day I LOVE it and at the end of the day I HATE it.
Do other writers experience this?
At 6 A.M., I’m quite enthusiastic. At 10 A.M. I think it’s the best writing I’ve ever done. In the early afternoon, the good feeling I have about reaching the day’s goal is overshadowed by thoughts of how much remains to be written. After that, it’s all downhill.
While preparing dinner, I’m slicing, dicing, stirring and wondering what made me think the book needed to be written in the first place … AND I’m muttering, despairing missed opportunities to do something else with my life. (I would’ve made a very good NANNY or ASTRONAUT!)
The sun sets and when it rises again (or before), the whole ride starts again.
It’s a NUTSY life, this writer thing. I TOLD people I wasn’t cut out for it. I’m not unstable enough.
Let the record show that just yesterday my own mother said, ”You’ve always been a very even-keeled person.” (I think I need to put that in my book.)
My next step? Well, I’m NOT going to stop working on the book. We just had that discussion over dinner, the same discussion we’ve had over dinner almost every night since this started.
I just heard someone on the radio talking about Eunice Kennedy Shriver being a force behind the Special Olympics. The man said: “She simply would not give up until she achieved her goal. She believed in following through, all the way to the end.” Yes! Thank you, Eunice Shriver. I will follow all the way through to the end.
BUT I am seriously considering ending my writing day earlier, before I fall off the cliff. I’m going to stop earlier and go do something else.
Can someone please tell me, though. Is this a normal writer thing or is it just me?