I started this blog thinking it would be mostly about writing. Instead it’s turned out to be mostly about cats.
We’ve started to name the kittens currently living in the back yard. The white-with-orange-spots baby is Peaches, as in peaches and cream. The little tuxedo kitty is Nose, because his nose is black and he looks like he has a mustache and goatee. The orange striped fellow hasn’t been named yet. He’s the shyest of the lot. They’re currently having a dandy time chasing each other up and down the old olive tree.
I’ve seen Nose cuddled up to Bad Ass a couple times, which is fairly astonishing. Father-son bonding, feral style.
Someone asked me recently if I write every day, if I have a set time and place for writing or if I write when the spirit moves me. I said: I write every day. I can’t keep a story in my head otherwise.
I should qualify that. Some days other things take precedent over writing. And there were 15 years when I didn’t write at all.
What time of day do I write? Early morning. My creative mind is at its sharpest when I first get up. I try to schedule the rest of life in the afternoons.
Do I have a particular place for writing? Oh, yes. In the old days, I could write anywhere, anytime, in the middle of a social gathering, riding in a car. Not anymore. Now I require solitude.
My current office is a reincarnated dining room. My desk sits in front of a window because I also require a view. The desk is generally littered with all manner of writing/research paraphernalia and at least one large cat.
I write every day, whether I feel like it or not. Especially if I don’t feel like it, because that’s a potentially bottomless pit. Example: I don’t feel like writing, so I don’t write. The next day I feel so guilty because I didn’t write that I’m not in the mood to write again. Each day I don’t write, it becomes harder to get back to the routine.
Stories don’t develop just when you’re putting words on paper. If you can maintain your momentum the action will keep going even when you’re not consciously thinking about it. The result of this can be a trifle inconvenient, for example waking up in the middle of the night with those great ideas that you won’t remember if you don’t get up and write them down, at which point it’s impossible to go back to sleep. Or sitting down to write a chapter and discovering that your characters decided to go off in an altogether different direction while you were looking the other way.
It shouldn’t become an obsession, this writing thing. But if something is going to get accomplished, it does need to become a priority. Sitting down at a certain time and place requires discipline. As does training your mind to focus on a certain thing.
I try to update my website once a week and the blog more often. As far as they’re concerned, I do wait for inspiration to strike.
Sometimes it takes a while.