Friday, September 07, 2007

Nomadic Writing

Yay! The proposal for the new book just went off to my agent, and we will now see if I am totally insane or if I might have something here. I guess those two things aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. Now I have some errandy shopping type things to do for the rest of the day, and then it will be a pizza and Doctor Who kind of evening. I can't believe it's already Friday. This week got strange, with the holiday on Monday and then Wednesday being one of those surreal days when I pretty much went through a whole day before the time I'd usually just be crawling out of bed. I will be taking the weekend off, maybe to do some reading instead of worrying about work. That is, between social engagements, as I actually have weekend plans that take place on the other side of the front door.

My problem is, I've been having trouble getting into books lately. I started two this week and am now amassing quite the stack of books beside my bed with bookmarks stuck at random places where I sort of lost interest. I went to the library yesterday, but the shelves were practically empty. In a way, that's a good thing as they're doing that because the library is moving to its new home at the end of the month. The current library barely holds the bookshelves, with no place really to sit and read or study. The new library is gorgeous (at least, the outside is and the drawings of the inside are) and big, with plenty of lounging space and even a cafe. It's basically a Barnes & Noble, but the books are free! And best of all, it's two blocks from my house! I may start doing some work there when I'm in the brainstorming phase.

One of my many creative quirks is the fact that I seem to do different kinds of work in different places. Brainstorming and plotting generally have to be done in places other than at my desk. If the weather cooperates, I like to do it near water. I did a lot of my brainstorming and character development for Enchanted, Inc. sitting on a riverbank, and I've done some work on the other books on the banks of the canal that runs through my neighborhood. Or I go to bookstore cafes. Once Upon Stilettos was essentially born in a B&N cafe (which is why it's so ironic that B&N doesn't seem to be stocking that book -- they have the first and the latest, but not that one). I've also outlined or brainstormed books on airplanes and on my patio. Generally, it seems to help the process to go somewhere outside my usual work settings.

I used to write almost exclusively at my desk, but that hasn't worked so well ever since I got DSL, since my desk is where the Internet lives. So now I tend to take my laptop to various other places in my house (which is why I don't dare get a wireless router). I'm mostly working on the chaise lounge in my loft these days, but I've been doing revisions on the new book on the sofa in the living room downstairs. The final proofread gets done at my desk because that seems to be my setting for detail-oriented, analytical work.

I generally have to take copy edits elsewhere, mostly to a bookstore cafe, but that's primarily because my desk is such a mess and copy edits involve a lot of paper, so I need to be able to spread out. I have done them sitting on my sofa, though.

With the new library, I may experiment with that as a work setting for some of the process, though probably not something involving the computer, as they have free Wi-Fi, and that defeats some of the purpose of getting away from my desk. It's far too easy to decide to just check my e-mail whenever I get stuck instead of being forced to keep going. I think the main point of my nomadic writing is to keep changing the patterns so my brain is forced to adjust and adapt. I think that helps spur creativity. It's like constantly exposing myself to new things.

No comments: