“Write while the heat is in you… The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.” – Henry David Thoreau
Isn’t that the truth? I spent the last 4-5 days away from my WIP. What? Don’t look at me that way. I know, I’m a bad girl. I’ve got my own guilt trip going already, don’t need you guys glaring at me in disappointment.
But seriously, don’t you find that after just a few days of being away from the little world your mind has created, you suddenly find yourself cold? The passion fades a bit. The moments you create fizzle. You feel so detached. It’s like a marriage that has gone on for a real long time where nothing is exciting or new anymore.
That’s why I try to make it a point to write everyday. I keep myself in love with my characters. I remember why I made a vow to stick with them for whatever amount of time it takes to write their story. I feel their excitement, their loss, their fears. When we spend time together everyday, writing is practically effortless. Sure, there are the bad days. EVERYONE has bad days. I’m sure Miss Nora herself has a day or two when she feels like setting fire to a manuscript. But the regularity helps us push through until we find that good day around the corner.
So how do we manage to lose that kind of connection in only a few days? Real life. The nasty bugger just gets in the way. It’s hard to focus on a make believe world when you’re busy dealing with the real one. And the more you find to do in the real world, the further away you feel from that great little place you usually spend your time in. Your initial reaction is, man I want to go back! But after ignoring that first impulse, after the second and third day, it becomes something more along the lines of, I just don’t have time to play with those characters.
Well boo to you, adult Isabelle. The Isabelle with Peter Pan syndrome is perfectly happy sitting at the computer playing with her characters. And you know what? That playing will create an amazing, intriguing, captivating book that will one day *hopefully* make adult Isabelle a successful author.
I’ve learned the hard way that if you want to make this a career, you have to be willing to treat it as such. You wouldn’t not go to work because you have to clean your house (unless you suffer from serious OCD in which case, you’re excused). You wouldn’t not go to work because there’s a really great movie on TBS this afternoon. Come on! Let’s be real here. Writing is TONS more fun than work (most days, anyway). I know I’d rather be struggling with my characters than my boss. That’s just the truth.
So when the iron strikes, burn that hole. Write until your fingers bleed. Until your eyes cant stay open any longer. Until your soul has been purged from its insanity. Trust me, you won’t regret it after.