Monday, January 8, 2007

Returned from my first bout of MIA/AWOL

I have to be honest, I tend to be AWOL over the weekend. If not because I actually get out of the house over the weekend (running errands, window shopping, resisting the urge to buy another manga I'll just read in half an hour anyway), then because I like to take a break from the computer.

Sometimes, I get that stuck feeling and I start to unconsciously associate it with sitting at my computer. I don't like to type elsewhere (I have a desktop--I suppose if I had a laptop, I'd be the sort who would go to a cafe or park bench and while away the hours typing), so this is the image I have of writing/typing: sitting at my small wooden desk, not originally made for computers, tucked into my room between my bed and bureau. The CPU is directly in front of my keyboard, so I can reach the floppy disk and cd drives in front as well as the usb port in the back for my flash drive. The monitor is to to my right so I have to turn my head to read what I've written. I have light green post-its on the side of my CPU, reminders, research in a word or two, passwords for things like my library account (so I won't forget when I have books due), names for characters or possible agents, even a few quotes. Okay one quote at the moment (and looking at a blank spot, I hope one of the post-its didn't fall off).

"A novel is about life, with all the dull parts taken out." said by Alfred Hitchcock, I think (I put a question mark, so I guess I wasn't sure even when I wrote it down).

Point being, the view doesn't change much, so when I get stuck with the writing, sometimes I get sick of the view. Taking two days off from that area seems good for me. I spent a lot of Sunday thinking about my newest story, Book C, so I think the writing will be kind of all right today. Almost 200 words already in the span of say 45 minutes, while typing this--sometimes that's the only progress I make all day.

And Friday, I didn't post because, well, I actually did stuff. I turned in my grad school application and all the other paperwork, then hung out with my friend. That's not the norm (I really do lead a dull existence right now), but just so you're informed about where I am on the weekends when I'm not thinking about writing and blogging.

Also, I think I remember what else I was going to post about on Thursday. The habits of writers is an interesting thing. I suspect I'll return to it in various forms. Today, though, we'll stick to the idea of writing schdeules.

I was thinking about it the other day. I have a friend who makes time before work and during a break, and sometimes after work to write. With somewhat flexible hours and a weird sleep schedule, it works for him. I wouldn't presume to know if it ties in to how he works out a story in his head, but I know that closes relates to how my sister writes. She can't really sit and write for hours at a time, 'like I do.' (I laugh when people say that. Especially lately, as I sit at my computer for hours but I would hardly claim to write the entire time.) But she plans out in a very detailed manner the story plot of her stories before she begins writing them. Then she thinks about exactly how she wants the next few paragraphs to go and will work that out in her head, so the actual time it takes to type is quite short. She opens the file types up the next few pages and she's done.

I however, like to start with a general idea of the overall arc of the story. Or in the case of Book C, which I intend to be the first book of a trilogy, I also want the vaguest idea of what may happen in the second and third books. That connecting plot that ties it all together. I play around with the next few scenes in my head, getting a visual sense of what will happen, so when I sit down I can write it out with a bit more ease. But I am just as inclined to start writing without a single idea of how to start, what to say, who this character is that just showed up. It sort of works for me, but at the same time, seeing it written out like that, it also sounds like I'm still finding what works for me as a writer.

In college, I had roommates who stayed up late, so I got in the habit of doing so as well. Maybe not to the same extent, or even more than they, but I liked writing at night. It was classes in the morning and atfternoon, dinner at the cafeteria with friends, and then I had a block of time from 7-10 that I watched tv. So I would do homework, articles for the college paper, and work on my stories from 9 or 10 until midnight or 1 a.m. I was never an all-nighter type of person though. Then my last few semesters I wouldn't have class until noon, so I would do homework and articles before class (and articles between classes), but I still did the fun writing at night.

Now, though, I live with my family and they go to work early in the morning, so I don't like to stay up late and wake them with my loud typing (nails tack-clacking away on an old keyboard--I have an affection for that sound). That means I type while they're gone, which is the morning until mid-afternoon. I had one professor who woke up at 4 a.m. to write. That boggles my mind, but I suppose the gist is, to each his own. That's all for today, I think. At least for now. I've rambled on long enough.

2 comments:

writtenwyrdd said...

School, job, writing, a life AND a blog? You are entitled to not post every day. (What I do is to write a bunch of entries all at once, save 'em as drafts, and then drop in a few others when the mood strikes and it's slow at work.)

Anyhow, I put a link to you on my sidebar. Maybe you'll get a few more hits that way.

I can already tell that you revise a lot more than I do before you post, lol.

Here's to glitter cows!

Sabrina said...

Wow, thanks for the link. I'm much lazier than I sound, though. heh. At the moment writing is the job. I'll be looking for a job soon (I figured I was allowed a little time to relax before entering 'the real world'). And I'm waiting to hear about the school part. I graduated with my BA in English and psych this past May, but I'm trying to get into grad school.

~raises her can of Dr. Pepper to glitter cows~