I try to get in 500 words in the morning, but even if I only generate that first hundred, that’s usually all the momentum I need to finish the additional 400 later on.
Also, because I can forget a topic I want to address, I have lately found myself jotting them down at the top of my page, almost as if they’re agenda items…bullet points and everything. Pretty sad, isn’t it?
Rather than go to the trouble of buying and administering tranquilizers to skittish pets on July 4th, how about we track down and tranquilize the mouth-breathers who set off fireworks in the late night?
Not enough? Partial lobotomies or personality transplants come to mind.
“No need to pay a fine, you guys. Just step right in for a quick noise abatement orientation…”
And while I’m at it, how many of the folks who slap together those fireworks stands for a quick buck are also owners of skittish pets?
Do you listen to music when you write, or do you prefer silence, or something else on in the background?
“…70 percent of the time I will listen to music with headphones so it’s right up in my ear. I will usually make one or two playlists for a book and I will listen to the same playlist over and over and over again…if I find a playlist that I kicked into a flow state with really early on in my process and was very successful I will keep using it because it will keep driving that flow.”
When you’re staring at the screen at 4:00 AM, do you just start clicking away? What’s going through your head at that initial moment?
“Even if the day before was a terrible writing day, I am so fired up to go at it again. I can be an absolutely miserable writer sometimes, but I wake up every day so fired up to do this.”
And finally, to put me to shame with all my finger pointing…
“When I wrote West of Jesus I had spent three years in bed with Lyme disease and I needed to tell that story to open the book, but I thought, ‘I spent three years in bed with Lyme but who cares? Compared to getting cancer or losing a limb, so what?’”
What’s your favorite music to carry you through your writing sessions?
“If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep,
, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.” [The Guardian, 25 February 2010]
One small segment of her message seemed to resonate…
I repeat…all her fault.
And I blame Trader Joe’s who is selling organic strawberries for $2.50 a pound. Let’s face it, most of those gorgeous ones in the supermarket have very little flavor and considering they are one of the dirty dozen, well, that doesn’t help in the ‘appeal’ category.