Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Come to a full and complete stop
There are times when the writing goes so good that it's hard to stop, but then life intervenes, or more precisely--work. I can either keep writing and hope I find a stopping place when it's time to sign on for my shift or quit while the words and the thoughts are still hot and hope they're still there when I'm finished working. This is the part of the double life I lead that I dislike the most--having to do the writing-work balancing act. It's a simple equation. Work = money = affording the materials and resources necessary to write. Writing = money, but only after a long hard climb to the top. In the meantime, the only steady source of income is work, thus the difficulty of the situation.
I got up about 3:30 a.m. and decided I didn't want to try to go back to sleep, so I started editing and making some changes, clarifying some dangling threads and loose issues so I wouldn't lose time when the writing was good. That took about 30 minutes, which meant I still had lots of time before I had to get ready for work, so I started reading, deleted about four pages that weren't going well and started writing. And it flew. I was in the zone. I was hot. I was sizzling. I was 5000 words to the good. I wanted to keep writing, but it's nearly time to start getting ready for work.
One thing I've learned about writing is that it's never a good idea to put on the brakes and slam to a stop. Much like driving a car in bumper to bumper traffic or running a marathon and then stopping dead without a cool down period, disaster is quick to follow: accident in the first scenario and possible heart failure in the second, neither of which is conducive to a continued career in writing since death may be the result. Can't write when you're dead and I have to finish this book.
So it's time for the cool down: checking email, reading blogs, futzing around on Facebook for a couple of minutes and checking out a hot Russian pilot who promises food, caviar, wine, vodka and a ride in a MIG 29 for an email. You know I can't resist the chance to fly in a MIG with a hot Russian pilot -- or any pilot as long as I get to fly in a MIG. I don't care if he's married; I'm not going to date or sleep with him. I just want to fly in the MIG. I wonder if I have to go to Russia for that or if he will fly by here and pick me up. Hmmm.
Needless to say, I'm on a roll and might even finish this book by the end of the week. That's good. When I'm done, I'll do a read-through and begin the next project, the one that has been following me into dreams and gumming up the works when I'm supposed to be typing up technical and difficult heart surgeries and breast reconstructions. Aah, the life of the workaday world. You can have it as long as I get to write.
Okay, I'm cooled down now and can safely move to the next phase of my morning: shower, shampoo and shifting through clothes for something to wear. I have a date with a grocery cart this afternoon and I have to look my best. Produce can be so crude and rude sometimes.