Monday, May 26, 2014

Shaking it up.

I've been sick for most of the past week*. I was lazing around in bed a lot, sniffling and sneezing and coughing...and thinking. Thinking that now's a good time to shake stuff up.

I'd felt like I was in a writing rut even before I got sick. And certainly I wasn't writing at all while sick--it was tough enough for me to get up, drag my ass to work, come home and microwave a can of soup, and go to bed early, hoping I wouldn't wake myself up coughing again. That was hard enough; I wasn't gonna add writing to the mix.

But now I feel ready. I feel mostly better--say, 85% better--and I'm ready to get started again.

I straightened up my writing space. I can't write unless everything is neat. I'm already a bit of a neat freak, but it really comes out when I need to write. If there are dirty dishes in the kitchen, I can't focus. So right now, the dishwasher's running, and I'm working at a neat, clean desk, free of clutter and full of writing toys (Dexter figurine, fun pens, some of my favorite polished stones).

I decided that even though my story/characters are always on my brain, I need to actually do more with them (besides the obvious, which is write about them). So I created a weekly calendar and wrote in some assignments--like working on the series/character bible, reading books about various aspects of writing, doing some cop/crime-related research, etc. And then I hung that calendar right by my desk, where I could see it, instead of letting it lurk under a pile of crap on my desk (now that the desk is crap-free, it had to hang somewhere, right?).

I downloaded some new reading material for my Kindle. The new Jeffery Deaver book (I'm always impressed by his work), and an older Clive Barker book (his stuff, I've found, helps me embrace my "writing weird").  And, while I love Muse, I realize that sometimes they're a security blanket for me, so I downloaded some new-to-me music that piqued my interest. (I'm still going to listen to Muse just as much, of course, but I'm going to make an effort to listen to other stuff too, and see what that does to my writing.)  Fitz and the Tantrums, Cage the Elephant, Spoon, and the Pretty Reckless (don't judge--I got a few Emerson sparks when I heard their stuff, which makes it totally worth buying). I want to see what infusing my brain with new music does to me, writing-wise.

I also realized I've been having a lot of really interesting thoughts lately and keep telling myself "oh, you'll remember that; write it down later" and then, of course, I don't remember squat. So I got a couple small Moleskine notebooks that I anticipate filling with all those fleeting thoughts that I have to catch before they go poof and disappear forever. Some of those thoughts are Emerson-related; some aren't. Regardless, I need to catch 'em, and this is the best way--I still haven't gotten into taking notes digitally, and handwriting them seems to get them out better somehow.

Tomorrow I'm ready to get up early and get back into my routine of writing before work. Tomorrow's when I start attacking all of this with a more focused approach, allowing myself to have a more creative life overall.

I can't wait to get started again.

* As for what I was doing before I got sick? I was meeting pitchers from my very favorite baseball team...

I was so stoked to meet one of my favorite pitchers of all-time, AJ Burnett. He was super-nice, and I was just a wee bit starstruck!

Me and Phillies reliever Jeff Manship. He's played for both my favorite teams, the Phillies and the Twins, and I was beyond excited to meet him!