Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why do I always write better at the pool?

Today is Tuesday. (Okay - it's Wednesday. For you. For me, writing this, it's Tuesday)

Crud. I lost the momentum there. Let me start over.

Today is Tuesday. You know what Tuesday is in my house? It's skip-the-gym and stay at home and write a wicked-lot-of-words-on-my-new-book day. It's the day I ignore the increasingly small amount of milk and the dust on the piano and the dishes in the sink. It's the day I stop fiddling around with my new website (I'll let you know when it's ready). It's the day I try to forget I'm heading into a marketing blitz and waste countless hours trying to figure out how to get my name out there.

It's the one day of the week I ship my kids off to school and for five hours do nothing but write.

So at 8:40 the last of my kids climbed on the bus, and, already two and a half cups of coffee down, I refilled the coffee maker, turned on the computer, and sat to write.

Let's just say I did more sitting than writing.

At one point I got up from the chair and did some stomach crunches. I thought it would get the blood flowing a bit, with the added benefit of loosening my pants.

I reheated soup and critiqued a writing partner's query while I ate.

And I wrote a little.

About 900 words.

Seriously??? I've got five hours and that's all I can eek out?? You gotta be kidding me!! What the heck is wrong with me?? How many writers would kill for time like that to spend uninterrupted? How many (and I know who you are) could practically start-to-finish a book in time like that?

At 2:30 I finally put the computer away, sighing, and went to pick up the kids, one at one end of town and the others forty minutes later at the other end. We set off for swim lessons, and about half-way there, I thought: Troy should be there. In this scene. He would totally show up there.

So after getting my youngest changed into a swim suit and safely dumped into the pool, I scrounged around the car for a pad of paper and a pen and sat to write.

I wrote until my daughter suddenly was standing over me dripping chlorinated water all over my notebook and asking for her towel.

450 words in less than 20 minutes. And that's writing by hand. On practically post-it note sized paper.

I won't dare tell you how many adverbs might be in those pages. Probably more than in my entire last book. But they were necessary! And the scene was awesome!

So the lesson learned here is...?

Either I should be writing with pen and paper instead of on the computer.

Or Troy should be in every scene.


  1. Its so funny you wrote about this. I was just talking to another author, Rebecca of "Living a Life of Writing" and seh says that she always writes with pencil and paper, and then transcribes. She can't do it any other way. I think maybe you should think about changing your methods-- maybe the bright sunshine and poolside vibe help your creative side. I am going to blog about this...

  2. Or take advantage when the moment hits.

  3. LOL I'm the same way.
    I can sit and stare at my computer screen for hours and nothing happens. But put in a situation where it's difficult to write and the words are bubbling up.

    I think I work best under some sort of pressure. Knowing that I have all day (or five hours) to write somehow means I won't do much.

  4. A few weeks ago during my week of craziness, I wrote the most words. Since then, life has been very quiet, and though I have been writing daily, it is nothing like that first week. Let me know when you solve the mystery.

  5. And that is exactly why you should *always* have pen and paper ready. Even post-it sized paper!

    Nicely done!

  6. "I should be writing with pen and paper instead of on the computer." I think that's part of it. Or at least it is for me.

    Plus, getting out in the world is a nice inspiration for sure.

  7. I say, both!

    I always have a tiny notebook in my purse, but a few years ago I discovered Moleskine notebooks and wow, I love these. Not just because the paper is so creamy smooth, or because of the sturdy but light cover (Holy, they should be paying me for this eh???) but because it's smaller than the usual 8x10 and fits into my purse!! Mind you, my purse is stupid big.

    I don't have it with me all the time, but it's good to have when I need it. And yes, I have included stuff I write there into my computerized version!

  8. It's funny how our creative minds sometimes resist the MUST WRITE mode and wait until we're not so obsessed to ignite our imagination.

    I keep a small pad in my purse, but in a crunch I've been known to scribble on the backs of my business cards. ;-)

  9. What in the world is it with you writers and moleskin notebooks?? I keep hearing about them, and their creamy paper, and I swear if I run into one in a story someday I'm likely to scarf up the whole lot - or stage an intervention to you addicts!!

    I'm not sure if writing with pen or paper is the key, or whether it was just the idea that hit at the wrong moment. I'll take it anyway I can I guess.

    And thank you all for not mentioning that you could have written in half an hour what it took me all day to write. You're the best!