Monday, April 04, 2011

The Writing Routine is not so Routine anymore

Hemingway wrote 'til his pencils weren't sharp.

Collette picked fleas from her cat.

Kerouac and Bacon started on their knees.

Whatever it is, most writers have something. And I'm no different.

And getting back to it is one of the big upsides to having a permanent address and a sense of home.

My routine used to be pretty simple:

Get up around 7.
Make coffee.
Start writing.
Stop around 10 or 11.

These days, the routine, however, is much more shattered. With a 3 year-old in my life and a new child on the way (May), I write only when I can. This means, I write on trains and foolscap. In dentists offices and during lunch hours. Between midnight and dawn and playground visits.

And while, once I found that turning on the TV, listening to music, checking email or reading the blog world generally destroyed everything, now these are all things that I just have to put behind me. In fact, there is always a Disney movie in the background these days, so...

It is both impossible and liberating. Impossible because there is no concentrated moment. Liberating because I don't spend any time second guessing. An idea is either "it" or it "isn't."

I still write long hand when I'm stuck or starting something new. I still writing in spiral notebooks and prefer the Classic (and now hard-to-find) Bic Stylo. And when things are really screwed up, I sitll "clean" the house and get a fresh sheet of paper. Though, truthfully, I am always cleaning the house of strewn toys.

And I still use Maria Irene Fornes sense memory exercises to get the world out of my head if it's in there. It turns out her ideas for finding the place within that needs to be listened to work great for a person who's inner world is teaming with loud voices and who's outer world is ruled by toddler demands.

Please take out a pencil and a sheet of paper.

You got a routine? Let's hear about it.

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