So… it’s like 1:30 in the morning. On a school night. (I always remember my mom talking about how we couldn’t do things “on a school night.”) And I should be doing a great many things besides typing a blog right now. Namely sleeping. But OF COURSE I can’t sleep because I have words floating in my head. Finally!
A whole week of no words. Not. A. One. I tried revising, working on a new book. Nothing. Until now, when I’m super-duper supposed to be sleeping because I have to be in charge of other human beings tomorrow. (I’m a teacher, btw.)
But here I am, up, at the computer because I know I won’t be able to sleep until I get these words out of me. Out from behind my eyelids.
One of my FAVORITE books is Okay for Now, by Gary D. Schmidt. A character in the book, a writer character, talks about how sometimes it’s as if the god of creativity has flown into her study, has folded his wings, and is sitting by her typewriter.
I love that line.
Because that’s truly what it feels like sometimes. Sometimes you’re writing and it’s like you’ve got a direct link with your characters. The movie is playing in your head and all you’re doing is writing it all down (while adding witty dialogue and super-awesome similes, of course). When you read back over those sections, all you can do is smile and nod. Because he was there. That god of creativity was folding his wings and sitting next to you on the couch (or wherever you happen to write).
Other times, he’s far away. Like he must be in another hemisphere. And the words. You’re trying. You’re squeezing them out. But when you read back over them, there’s no nodding. No smiling. That’s what this week was for me. See, I’m writing the third book in my trilogy. Yeah. Awesome. Right? Right. It’s totally awesome. But also a great many other things. Scary, overwhelming, sad. I’m caught in this weird in-between feeling of holy-goodness-please-just-let-me-finish-this-thing and but-wait-I-think-I’m-going-to-miss-this.
Plus the whole thing about having to close my whole story and make it good. That’s a major worry, too.
And now, now of all times, when I needed those wings so many other days this week. Now they are here.
But I’m going to do what any writer does. I’m going to hold onto those wings and write. Even though it’s 1:30. Even though I have a job to do in the morning. Even though I’m tired. Because that’s the job. That’s writing.
And don’t we love it.