Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Spectacular Writing Day (Cheryl Renée Herbsman)

This month's question for the group is what does an unusual and spectacular writing day look like for you? In the simplest of terms: writing twenty pages in one day. But there's actually much more to it than that.


Have you ever heard of VACANSOPAPUROSOPHOBIA? No? Me neither. But it means fear of the blank page. Starting to sound more familiar? Yeah, me too. I don't know if this is as scary to writers who write by outlines, but as a writer who just sits down to write and waits to see what happens, it can be pretty terrifying. So any writing day that doesn't entail vacansopapurosophobia is a good one.

But today we're talking about the dreamy fantastic days. So here's what one of those looks like for me. I sit down with a steaming cup of tea and my laptop. I read over what I wrote the day before, fixing typos and wording, finding my way back into the story.

As soon as I finish reading, excitement overtakes me. I know exactly where the story needs to go next. And I can't wait to find out what happens. I dive in, fingers flying around the keyboard. I close my eyes because there's no time for fixing little details, I have to get the story down! My keyboard and I are transported into the world of the story. It's happening in front of me like a movie, but also all around me, and I'm transcribing it onto the page. I don't have to stop and ask myself what happens next. My only role here is as scribe.

Time ceases to exist. Seriously. It's not just that it goes by quickly, it's that I'm in the story so completely that I'm not aware of the existence of time. I'm on a wild ride
, hanging on and seeing where it wants to take me. And it is divine. I'm no longer aware of my fingers on the keyboard or of the me that is separate from the story.

Eventually the scene or chapter or piece comes to a close and I come up for air. The world exists. My tea is cold. Many hours have passed. Thousands of words have been written. And a chunk of story has been told. My head is spinning a little bit, like it does when I step off a roller coaster. I feel sort of out of it, as I land back in this world without having completely extricated myself from the other one. You might see me walking around looking a little like this:

It's time to take off my author hat and put on my mommy one. But it's been an amazing day. And I get to do this for work! These are the days that make this job so awesome -- perfect connection. Here's hoping for more of these for us all :)

7 comments:

  1. Two things.
    One -starting something new and being able to pound out like the first 5 to 7 thousand words.

    Two - taking the whole day to write a scene that you know is going to be one of the memorable bookmarked pages in a book.

    Good question :D

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  2. I need some days like that! I miss them!

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  3. Janet, it'll come around again, usually when you least expect it ;D

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  4. Great look at a happy writing day! Thanks for sharing it :-)For me a spectacular writing day is when I step back and reread a scene and smile, imagining other readers sighing or smiling along with me. When it comes out exactly--or even better--than I imagined in my head. When I get out of my own way and let my fingers fly. Yeah, that's a good writing day

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  5. My favorite writing days are actually the nights that I allow myself an energy drink at around 10 or 11pm and power on until 3 or 4 in the morning. Those nights I write like a woman possessed and usually get down around 6K words.. and sometimes I close my eyes, too!

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