Book Writing Update

The day I wrote my post about seeking public accountability in writing my book, I did really well that week.  I did three days that week at 4 hours each.  The next week, which was the week of Thanksgiving, I stunk.  No days that week.  This week didn’t start much better, but I did get in at least 4 hours today.  I intend to force myself to repeat this for each of the next two days as well.

It’s nice having a writer daughter because she “gets” me when I lament about writing.  I get SO excited when I am actually writing because I am taking what is swirling around in my mind, or that has been said in piecemeal ways over the past couple years, and is being put altogether in one place, taking the time to find all the right words and to be complete in my description or explanations.  When I’m in the middle of writing, I don’t know why I’m not writing all the time.

BUT, the flip side is getting myself to sit down and begin.  I know I need a block of time because writing is neither flippant nor a side job.  Once I begin, it takes at least a half hour to rev myself up to the point of inspiration and immersion.  That’s the painful part . . . switching my brain from the myriad of responsibilities I need to be doing or should be doing and putting them on a shelf . . . and letting my brain “go there”.  Even coming out of the writing spree, there is a slowing down and edging out of the “zone”.  It’s releasing the energy and inspiration to merge back into the reality of my everyday life that tends to smack up against me as a sense of dullness in comparison.  And then I find myself not wanting to do anything, as if drained from the experience, and not wanting to figure out how to find my happy place again in my regular life.

And that’s the thing . . . I really LIKE my life, and engaging in the writing process warps my sense of that for a while.  I don’t want to shift myself out of what is going on in the present moment of my own life, but once I do, it is such a thrill to give life and voice to my experiences and observations and knowledge, and then there is the shift back into what I love, but there is a temporary black hole between each of the experiences.

Wow, that was kinda cool to put a voice to it.  Now, I have to go get my daughter to read this to see if she has a similar experience with her writing times.  While I’m waiting for her, I think that’s why there is a difference between blog writing and e-mail writing.  Blog writing has a similarity to my book writing.  I have to immerse myself into the topic at hand and put everything else on a shelf.  The difference between blog writing and book writing, however, is that a blog is meant to be a short representation of one of my ideas, whereas a book is, well, book length.  And e-mail is more of a conversational writing for me.  I don’t necessarily have to go into a zone to write an e-mail unless it has some length to it.  Thus, why I avoid the lengthy e-mails for the most part these days unless I decide to “go there.”

Some writing thoughts . . .

5 responses to “Book Writing Update

  1. Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment on my blog. 🙂

    You are right about M’s pdoc no longer being effective…and about how hard it is to acknowledge that because of the affection I have for her. I have thought it through though, and have come to the decision that keeping her (in all her ineffectiveness) is better for M than letting her go. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that she’s the tops in her field… She sees the toughest of the tough kids – the kids other pdocs have no idea what to do with, she is brilliant with meds, and truly seems to care about her patients.

    In addition she is the medical director of the only facility in the state that is designed entirely around the needs of kids who are dually diagnosed (dd and mental illness). There is both a day treatment and an inpatient unit there, and they both always have long wait lists (they specialize in Autism, and the numbers are just huge here). Her being M’s pdoc guarantees that he’d be bumped to the top of the list any time he needed that level of care. It also means that other top pdocs in the area are happy to see M (as a favor to the pdoc) and we’ve had consults with pdocs would never would have been otherwise.

    The facility M’s pdoc is connected to is, hand’s down, the best in the state (and probably in about a 3-4 state region), so I feel like I have to continue “playing the game” with her in order to keep that option open for M. It feels like a protective measure for him… If she wasn’t his pdoc, he’d most likely to using Medicaid mental health care services, which are at least couple of steps down in terms of expertise, experience, etc. from the what we’ve got.

    The reality is I’m trapped for now… Letting her go (don’t think I haven’t thought about it!) would close a door to resources that M may need, and may need in an emergency type situation (so no time to wait months to get to the top of the waitlist!).

    The system stinks, doesn’t it?

    Anyway, I do value your insights, and wanted to let you know that you’re right, but there are details to the situation that complicate things…

    How wonderful that you are working on your book! That’s something I’ve always wanted to do… I’ll be sending good thoughts for you to enjoy some peaceful, productive mornings.

    thanks again

    Maura

  2. I’m sorry… I didn’t realize that comment was so long until I posted it! Oops… Feel free to delete it if you want, it’s taking up a ton of space. 😉

  3. I like the way you expressed that.

  4. Oh. Getting *started* is the hardest part. Especially when there’s laundry to do, or dishes to wash, or kids to raise. Procrastination’s easy to come by. Keep at it!

  5. Wow, I can totally relate to everything you just said. All of that. I like my life, and I don’t want to disengage with it to the degree that it takes to enter that other state of mind. On the other hand, I want to write my book. I hadn’t thought about it in that way before.

    Very, very difficult to navigate this but I think that (at least for me) the answer has to be to retrain yourself for shorter lengths of time. Drafting, for me, is the part where I have to completely immerse, and if I can learn to immerse faster, it really helps.