Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sticking With What Works

A Woman Writing a Letter--Dutch artist Frans van Mieris, 1680 At first glance (and second and third glances, too) my writing process is chaotic. I pick up and put down the laptop, I write at stoplights, I grab my moments. All summer I wrote wherever my kids--and their friends--wanted to go.

My sister called me out of the blue (she lives here in town, but 45 minutes away from me) and said she had a conference for her work that was going to be held at Disney World. Did I want to go? I could stay with her in her hotel room, and write all day long until her conference got out at 5:00.

Of course I jumped at the chance. :) It was the perfect opportunity to freeload.

On Monday morning, my sister went to her conference and I opened my laptop. I had nothing to do but write! No laundry, no cleaning, no cooking, no watching of children. I only needed to write.

It was too quiet.

I kept trying to write in the quiet. The last time I was at Disney, I was there with my children. We stayed at Pop Century at the resort and it was a noisy, buzzing place.

The Hilton? VERY QUIET. Very serious people are at the Hilton, doing very serious things. Very quietly.

I went to the pool. This worked well for a while because there were two noisy preschoolers there. But when they left, I was faced with the Very Quiet hotel room to write in.

So I went to Epcot. I sat at Mexico, had some food, and wrote. Perfect!

Now I’m thinking that I don’t need to mess with success. Right now, I don’t know how to write on command. I don’t know how to do it when it’s very quiet and still and there’s no visual stimulation at the same time I’m writing. I don’t know how to force it.

I’m sure I can adapt to peace and quiet…someday. Right now, I’m just going to stick to what works. However crazy it might be.