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Sunday, January 20, 2008

On writing...still

I have to sit down and work on some stories. I suppose that's what should be happening now, rather than blogging. But I must also blog, so I think, this time, I'll blog about writing.

I consider myself a writer. I work on writing. I'm trying to get published (and have been published before). I write daily (and not just emails).

Yet writing, though I find it very fulfilling, is one of the toughest things I do. There are writers who say it's the easiest thing they do. I know a few who simply plan a novel and then write it...and then publish it. I look up to these people. They make me wonder if I'm just a delusional idiot with a laptop. There are, to keep me from giving up, writers who have described writing as a form of self-sacrifice and personal torture. I look up to them, too. I know what they're writing through.

For me, it's not totally a matter of just sitting down and pounding it out nor a matter of opening veins. For me, it's a matter of forcing myself to work. I must talk myself into sitting down and starting. I have to block out all the things I'd rather be doing. I have to rid myself of the niggling need to have a cup of coffee-- only a professionally made coffee from whatever coffee vendor is the farthest from me--right now. I have to get myself comfortable enough that I have no excuse to get away from the computer. And I have to have all my other responsibilities for the day complete or the overwhelming guilt of doing something else will come smashing into me as soon as I get to the zone.

So as to be clear, I do get to the zone. Often. (That's one of the things of which I remind myself when I'm talking myself into writing.) I love the zone. I don't actually exist in the zone. Leah, as it were, disappears. The writer in me goes away. It's much like singing (when that happens in the zone). I become a simple conduit of energy. I am being told the story I am telling. It's magical.

And that's one of the reasons I admire the people who can do it for long stretches at a time and with little or no seeming conflict. I imagine they simply live in the zone. Maybe these writers have to yank themselves out of that zone to spend time with us mere mortals. Maybe their lives are all magic. This, of course, is the musing of a child. It is the little kid in me who believes that only her life is outlandish and difficult who can hold these thoughts in her head. The adult in me knows better. She's smarter and more experienced, of course. She's also completely bewildered about those magical folks who can simply float into the zone and get it done.

Guess I'll have to live in my own world of writer-ness. It'll be tough, but not as tough as it could have been.

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