As I have mentioned before, I'm writing a novel. 60,271 words as of this minute, thank you very much. I'm working hard, but it's taking...a while.
I recently read Stephen King's book On Writing, which I highly recommend. In it, Stephen suggests that in order to become a successful novelist, one must write a minimum of six days a week, and put down at least 1000 words a day.
To which I give Steve my best Alice Kramden stare. Yeah, right, Stevie. 1000 words a day, 6 days a week. If I did that, my family would starve, we would live in a dump, and Jude would take part in zero activities. I simply don't have the time.
Stephen also says that a major key to success is working in "a serene atmosphere" and having a writing space all your own where you can close the door.
Uh huh. Well... My writing space is wherever I can find a place to sit with my computer. We have an "office" in our home, but it's also Jimmy's office/computer/phone area and where Jude's computer is kept. So I usually write either sitting on the bed in the bedroom, sitting in the Starbucks or in a carrel at the public library next to the swimming pool where Jude has swim practice. Those are my offices. It's pathetic.
And I can't get away from THEM. Those other two people who live in my house and constantly WANT THINGS from me. "Honey, where are my keys?" "Honey, did you talk to my mother yet today?" "Mom, may I have a cheese?" "Mom, how to you spell vertebrae?" It's endless.
I try to take comfort in remembering that JK Rowling wrote most of the first Harry Potter book in a tea shop near her home where she would walk her baby in his pram, the kid would fall asleep on the way, then she could write for the hour or two when he would sleep. I guess we moms do what we have to do.
But I do dream of a place of my own. I dream of a writer's escape.
My old friend from high school, Jeb, lives on a farm in Wales. He's a writer/musician/artist, who putters around on his farm, feeding his sheep and chickens, then locks himself in his barn/studio and creates to his hearts content. The other day he told me in an email that his door was always open if I wanted a quiet place get away and write.
Could. You. Imagine? The thought of a little writer's escape to WALES literally makes me weak in the knees. I could write and write and then hike around the farm in a big wooly sweater looking at nature. Sigh...
I sometimes also fantasize about going to Texas and holing up in the little house on my friend Kaysie's family's ranch. They have a big, South Forklike house too, but on the other side of the land is a cute little three-room house which they've always called "the little house". I feel sure that Kaysie's mom would let me hang out there by myself for a couple of weeks if I asked. I could write and write, then go stare at cows and swim in the creek. And maybe treat myself to a little local barbecue and beer. But alas, life gets in the way.
Maybe what I really need is a writer's shed. Yeah, that's the ticket. A little tiny house in the yard all my own.
What the hell, as long as I'm dreaming, maybe I could buy a little mountain getaway cabin? Like maybe THIS ONE...
But unfortunately, my writer's escape has become the bedroom with this sign affixed to the door...
I have discovered that I am left alone if I inform THEM that if they interupt me even one time, I will not prepare dinner for them. This threat seems to work very well. The rules are as follows...
- Do not enter the room.
- Do not speak through the door.
- Deal with your ownselves.
- You may send me a text message on my phone, to which I will reply when I am stuck in my writing and need to walk around and/or when I exit the room to pee/get myself a cup of tea.
- You may speak to me/enter the room if the house is on fire.
- You may speak to me/enter the room if someone in the house needs to be administered the Heimlich Maneuver.
I managed to get two 1000-word days in this week using this method. Other days...not so much. I have made this picture my new computer background image, and it's my new mantra...
Many days I crawl. And I'm okay with that I guess.
But still...that trip to Wales would be damned nice.
What kind of escape do you need?
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