Monday, February 22, 2016

#Writing while bathing, exercising...driving via @LiviaQuinn

The writing process is such a fluid thing in my world. It has to be. I remember when I began writing, the summer of Katrina. I was laid off in the Spring and for the first time in my life found myself with six months of unemployment and time to write. It took a couple months to get over the feelings of rejection and unjust treatment, then I was struck by the freedom of the next few months decided to see if I could bring the stories that had been spinning in my head to life

So, I purchased six composition notebooks, pulled up my lounge chair, got some smooth writing pens and my Storm Lake series was born. Three months later the world turned upside down. Luckily, we were far enough out of the path  of Katrina that we didn't suffer any damage from the storm but statewide, businesses sagged and unemployment soared, not to mention people pouring out of the damaged areas into northern parishes. I had to go to work.

I found a job in DC working for the Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance program on a Friday and left the next day, arriving at my aunt's house so I could go to work in Virginia on Monday. I still can't believe how fast it all happened, or how fast I was back in those eighty hour weeks. The writing was nearly forgotten until my time in DC and Atlanta ended six months later. Once again, I found myself on the bayou, lounging and writing. It became apparent that if I was going to get serious about this new endeavor I needed to educate myself about the writing craft.

I joined the RWA around the time I started delivering the mail and as I drove around my route, I listened to workshops from the CDs I purchased. (The RWA has since clamped down on this which I think is a shame since it enabled newbie writers in rural areas where there were no chapters to learn from other authors and experts in our field.)

So while I was driving the route, the characters began to visit. Driving is a very creative activity for me, but since I was working, using both feet and both hands, I learned to record my ideas into my tiny recorder to be transcribed on my days off.

During my days as a sales person earlier in my career I purchased an Autodesk. The thing is indestructible and I've used it for thirty years. But it's really come in handy for my writing. When I'm on long trips or commuting to work I plop my legal pad on it and channel the characters. They love it when I'm driving-- or bathing. So I take advantage of it. Sometimes it's all over the page because naturally, driving has to take priority ;)
Last December I made a commitment to my health. I'd kept telling myself when I make enough I'm going to get a treaddesk but the Surf Desk I purchased in December essentially turned my treadmill into one. The first time I got on it and secured my laptop, I walked twice as far as ever before. Then the treadmill crapped out, but within three days I was back to it. 

Now, that my little seasonal restaurant is about to open, the process has to change again if I'm going to get Take these Broken Wings, Destiny 5 written. It will be a combination of treadmill, morning soaks, and drive time. This should add up to about an hour and a half to write forward on the manuscript. It also means I have to handwrite in multiple notebooks, depending on where I am. So over the weekend, I read in 31,000 words with Mac OS dictation.

As I said, fluid. A writer must adapt to what's happening in her life, unless she's lucky enough to have income in the household that supports a full time writing career. I'm thrilled that I'm writing every day, and though the first half of the year doesn't usually translate into multiple books, at least it's progress.


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