Friday, October 15, 2010

Separate Spheres

It's so fun and funny and odd and interesting and ... disturbing to move deftly between two worlds on a regular basis. I mean, I guess I should be used to it. I've been devouring books since I was a tiny person, and that's kind of the same thing. You move out of the real world for a while and into this new, constructed reality that - when it's well done - is hardly discernible from the real thing.

The weirdest part about it is how often I wish I could be inside my make believe world when I'm out in the real world, doing other things. It has nothing to do with not enjoying reality. I do. But when I'm really feeling "on" with my manuscript, which I am right now, there's not much in this world I'd rather be doing than working on it.

And often - very, very often - real life prevents that.

That's OK. I mean, it is what it is. I'm not a person who can, or even wants to, shut myself away from society to write. I get the occasional urge - usually at the end of a loooong day when I've got twelve other things on the to-do list before I can sit down at the computer - to get away for a little while, to rent a cabin in the woods for a few days and snuggle up in front of a crackling fireplace with a glass of wine and my laptop. But the practical side of me shuts that urge down before it can get too out of control. Cabins in the woods aren't actually all that appealing to me without other people to share them with. Funnily enough.

The thing is, I'm busy. I'm sitting here looking at the start of a veeeery busy weekend, and that's what has me musing on this topic. Real life isn't going to lend much time for writing and editing this weekend, and again, that's OK. This weekend, life's poignant moments won't be playing out on page, but in real life, in real time, in living color. With the people I love. So the Land of Make Believe will just have to wait.

I write to live, but I don't live to write.


  1. I know what you mean. A hundred and ten things always happen that prevent me from writing.

    Still, I can't just postpone them so that I can write.

    Good post. :-)

  2. I love to write and just appreciate those free moments in life where I can fit in a few words! Writing is apart of our life but it can't control it :)

  3. I loved this post and the flow of your words--particularly the last paragraph. Oddly enough, sometimes the time we spend with loved ones is just what we need to get the creative juices flowing. :-)

  4. The weekend did a lot to get the juices flowing, Jennifer. I was right that I wouldn't have time to open the ms, but I'm raring to go this week.

  5. It's good to get away from your words, sometimes. I'm in the editing phase of my second book. The first book sits on my desk until I feel ready to go back and write it again. But this time, the right way. I've found that the more I keep my book out of my blog the better I am in writing/editing it. My blog writing is fun and easy and it gives my narcissistic tendencies a chance to indulge a bit. More than anything, though, writing short quips and stories helps me go back to my books with a clear head.

  6. Very good point, Spuds. I know we writers take ourselves too seriously sometimes. Perspective - whether it's taking time-outs for real life or stepping outside our worlds (real and invented) by blogging or journal-writing - is super important.

    I've found this little game at a blog called The Blood-Red Pencil that's helped me exercise my writing muscles a little bit. They post it the second Tuesday of every month, and it's a writers' wordplay. The challenge is to write something short using given sets of homophones.

    I'm a total nerd, I know. But it's made me think outside the book, so to speak.

  7. Stacey--I really enjoyed this post. I take a breather from writing every so often, and I find that once I get back into it, I can't wait to move on to the next project.