I hate it when I stack blogs, but if I didn't, I'd never catch up.
Okay, so yesterday and today have been blurs of switching over insurance, learning how to drive a Prius, and trying to make our space look like a good home. We were expecting to stay here for six months. It's been over a year now, and it's going to be another year. We're going to be here until September 2016 at the earliest move out day, so we buckled down and decided to actually unpack boxes and make it habitable.
Thus, here is my picture of what ate into my writing time today. I went to the Goodwill and surprised Alex by moving my extra bed out of the writing room and giving up a part of my space for an actual dining room table. We haven't had one in this space before, and lo, here it is. We can sit at it and be like a real couple. I made him a pizza, lit a candle, put Pixar's "Lava" soundtrack on repeat, and scared the hell out of him when he came home.
We learned a valuable lesson last night, the both of us, as to what it means to be together in a marry-like situation forever and balance our time versus my writing time. We're still learning how to cope with him needing me to listen to him and me, at stupid random times --- usually inappropriate times --- needing to just sit down and let my current motivation carry me through a hard scene.
Last night was a hard scene. In the middle of me trying to Frankenstein dialogue together, Alex asked me to help fold the laundry. I Jack Torranced on him (less axe-chopping and more typing really loud and sardonically). I apologized. We came up with a system in order to communicate better.
Something cool that came out of this was a discussion of writing processes. I'm a certified teacher with a Master's and everything, so I know about learning styles. All of our brains work in a unique way, so no, a writer can't teach themselves to write on command or at a specific time of day. I know Bradbury was all about that, sitting down and doing it until your brain started kicking in.
My brain, God bless its little soul, doesn't work that way. I have to listen to music, talk it out, walk around in circles literally around my empty apartment, stare at image references, and then finally sit down and get a scene out. I have to prep myself to get into that mind frame. I don't know if that's because I was trained as an actor before I was trained as a writer, but I will never be the diligent little child who sits down at precisely 9:00 AM and writes until she likes it. I'm the kid who gets up, makes a playlist, listens to a song on repeat, goes and watches a Don Bluth scene on YouTube, read articles about abused or neglected puppies, and then go and write my sad screwy scary scene. It's just the way I work, and working around my personal life in order to keep my focus consistently draws guilt but is necessary.
How do you all do it? Are you a Bradbury-type or more like me, or are you doing something else? What do you do when friends and family need your attention?
What is this?
Dawson is an editor and writer and MFA student at Stonecoast. She writes stuff.