POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE
Just A Few Words Before Bed
By Nandy Ekle
Yes, I have waited until the last minute to write my blog. Why? Because it’s what I do. I am a “pantser,” and I write my best in the eleventh hour, literally. The clock proudly says we have two minutes before eleven o’clock p.m.
I really can’t tell you why that works for me. It’s really strange because all the other parts of my life are filled with routines. I wake up, get dressed for my day job. When I arrive at my cozy little cubicle, I have another set of routines. Boot the computer, sign on to all the apps – and this must be done in the correct order – get my pad of paper from the drawer. Get my coffee, heat my breakfast, check my email . . . I even have routines for the work I do. Open the request, write the account number on my paper pad, look at notes, look at documents, find the letterhead for the letter . . .
When I get home in the evening, another set of routines begins. Change clothes, prepare a meal, eat said meal, open computer, email, Facebook, shopping sites, Pinterest, Facebook, game – or yarn – or cross stitch . . . Then I go to bed.
But my writing life is completely different. I sit in front of the computer tapping my feet on the floor, chewing on the inside of my mouth, pretending I’m not really watching television. Writing? Who knows anything about writing? There ain’t no writers here.
However, the minute my head hits the pillow, characters begin to talk to me. In fact they talk so loud that sometimes I’m nearly convinced they are standing right next to me. Or when I get in my bath in the morning, a though will come to me about a story I’ve he bouncing around in my head. Or driving down the road. Or as I sit in my cubicle at 2:30 in the after noon, wondering how to put my correspondence into a nice, formal, understandable letter.
It’s at times like these I feel the most lost. I have a brilliant idea of how to get the dog to stay out of the kids’ way. These are also the times when the muse is absolutely not in touching range.
I’ve had a paper and pencil next to my side of the bed for years. I’ve had it next to my bathtub, I’ve had it close by in my purse. So why do I never find any ideas written down to remind me of my stroke of genius, and then the idea is gone.
According to books about writing written by writers, one of the main reasons we do this is because we are not used to writing something every day. The ability to write is like exercising. Use it, or lose it.
And so, my dear writer and reader fans out there. Write something every day, even if it’s something that does nothing to keep you above water.
Congratulations. You have just received a postcard from the muse.
I too am an organized person so in my writing I need to plan, plot, and add detail. None of this “write by the seat of my pants” stuff. I jot ideas as the routine of my day progresses, then collect my notes during my dedicated afternoon writing time. We both get to the same goal so I appreciate the diversity and freedom we have to each choose our own way.
Jagrout, thank you for your comment. As a writer, you know how thrilling it is to from readers.
I’ve written a few stories that I planned and outlined. I did the character sketches and the plotting. And those stories were successful.
I’ll write more on this subject next Friday, so come back and we’ll have some more discussion. 😊