Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Becoming a Zombie for Your Art

hen things are rolling and the words are flowing, you don’t want to stop writing.  Even if you’ve been at the Mac for two hours and counting and you’ve missed all the drama on “The Bachelor” and you’ve provided zero encouragement to the poor bastards being tortured for our voyeuristic pleasure on “The Biggest Loser” (“Pull harder! That 737 has barely moved!”).

When you’re in the zone, you don’t want to stop.  Writing fiction is a terrific natural high (when things are going well), and you’ll have time to feel guilty later when you realize you’ve neglected your beautiful wife and your kiddos again – though ours have grown to be full-scale crazy humans.

Last night I sat down to finish the final scene of a new story while the iron is hot, and when I was done (and finished entering some edits), it was one in the a.m. on a weeknight.  Yikes.

But until that story draft or chapter is completed, you’re compelled to keep at it, because if you get lazy (“Pull harder, that semi has to go all the way up the hill!”) the images and voices in your head start to grow hazy and dissolve.  If you don’t keep pecking away, the whole terrific idea can fade, lose its jazz, maybe never to return.

That’s a hundred times more frightening to a writer than the next rejection slip.

Thankfully, though she rightfully grumbles, my wife supports me and lets me get away with the occasional murder (of our free time together).  Kids are the same, though they don’t always like me hogging the Mac.  Here’s hoping that you have the same support system.


  1. I am excited for all the new writing projects that you are about to embark upon. I know they will be great and I can't wait to read them.

    I love you!

    Your first reader

    P.S. I assure you that if you are up late, Bridget will keep your side of the bed warm for you. :)

  2. If you read this post -- BE SURE to click on the photo of Jack so you can see his eyebrows wiggle. Alone worth the price of admission.