Friday, March 05, 2010

The Insane Phase

I believe I have reached the stage of the creative process where I go mildly insane. This is actually a good thing because it means the subconscious is taking over and really cool stuff starts happening, but it can be rather annoying. For one thing, it means I don't sleep well. Last night, I turned out the light by 11:30 after reaching a stopping point on the book I'm writing and then finishing the book I was reading. I was still tossing and turning at 2, mostly because my brain suddenly decided to rework the scene I'd just written (it did need help) and then create the subsequent scene, which I must say I love. With this one, I was thinking in narrative instead of just seeing a mental movie, so I think I've even got the words to write this scene the way it went in my head. This may be the scene I do for readings at conventions.

I'm not sure yet if the late-night creativity means this is going to be a "night" book, but since I have nowhere I need to be tomorrow morning, I may try a late-nighter tonight (if I can keep my eyes open, since I got no sleep last night). I still haven't shed the corporate world mentality that it's somehow more virtuous to get up early in the morning than it is to stay up late at night, even if you spend the same amount of time working, so I feel like a slacker when I do the late-night work thing and then sleep really late. Never mind that this is my job and it's not like I have anywhere I need to be.

This is also a phase when the work becomes all-consuming, when I say I've fallen into a book or have book brain. I find it hard to get excited about anything else other than writing. The housework falls by the wayside, I live on frozen food or leftovers from the times when I remember to cook, and I have to set computer reminders to get things done. I should probably make an effort to stay in touch with the outside world, but going out to eat or going to a movie starts to sound less fun than staying home and playing with my characters.

Meanwhile, I occasionally find myself "channeling" my main characters. With one book that shall remain unpublished (though I've realized that a lot of elements from it are showing up in this one), I bought a lot of wild shoes I never would have considered otherwise (the holographic sandals have shown up at a convention, but they really hurt). Katie isn't different enough from my personality to really show up in the channeling, though I think my accent gets heavier when I'm writing her, and I may get snarkier. I should apologize in advance to my family and friends if I start channeling this character because she's kind of hell on wheels, in a very nice way. I think there is something I could learn from her, and it will certainly be useful in any negotiations if I can retain anything of her after I finish writing the book. Any editors who read the book should probably take it as a warning that they may find themselves dealing with this woman.

Now I think I should make a grocery run to stock up on quick-to-cook foods or dishes that will provide a lot of leftovers I can just throw in the microwave. I should also do a ton of laundry. And then I'll have to decide if I want to join some friends for a movie tomorrow or if I'll be lost in my own little world.

1 comment:

The Davenports said...

I just have to say it relieves me greatly to know I'm not the only writer who gets in these "insane phases" you speak of. The late night writing has become my forte. For some reason, no matter how exhausted I am, it's the time I think the best and the ideas flow. Then when I go to bed, I think of the following scenes in narrative view, as you were saying.

When I get in these engrossed moods where I can't think of anything else but my story and getting it on pages, every other aspect of my life falls at the wayside and I find it a huge struggle to force myself to get into anything else. Housework, social life....and most unfortunately, my family. I have two small children, so that makes it worse.

Right now I'm trying to balance it out, but it's difficult. But it helps to know I'm not the only one out there who lets the passion for her talent takeover every once in a while!