Fellow lonely writers…

It is times like these, at 4:20 am to be precise, that I long for a literary confidant. With my manuscript and highlighters scattered across my desk, fiance firmly tucked away in bed, and my tea growing cold beside me, it strikes me that this might not be the best time to be contemplating editing or writing. And yet, it seems, I often find myself napping the evening away and pouring over my work into the wee hours of the morning.

Some of those times lead to very productive writing or brainstorming, and others, like this evening, leave me with cold fingers, and an itch for someone to kick me in the literary butt so I can go back to writing.

Writing is most often described as a solitary business, and from the years I’ve spent slowly chipping away at stories and honing my ability to drink an obscene amount of caffeine, I would agree. However, that has not yet eliminated this urge, which generally catches me off guard after a particularly good day of creating, for a writing companion.

Someone to bounce those stray idea’s off of, to confirm that my characters are in fact still behaving the way someone who had read the first 100 pages would expect them to. This imaginary person who would be just as excited to chat about my new subplot at four am as I am. Unfortunately, writing is a solitary occupation. One which others around me don’t quite get. I’ve many friends and family who, upon hearing a blurb or an excerpt, are more than willing to read my drafts after they’ve been polished. But no buddies with any idea what it takes to create good fiction. Which is to say, I’ve no intimate writing buddies.

The saying It takes one to know one, comes to mind as I contemplate this problem. A fellow writer can spot the error of another’s ways, when a plot is off track or a character becomes unruly. This, I suspect, is why writer’s make such good readers. But when you’re surrounded by readers, what is a writer to do?

I wonder if perhaps this is a common problem amongst us? Do many of you find it hard to find someone willing to know your characters as intimately as you do?

It’s not hard to find like minded people if you know where to look, but I seem to have a missing page in my copy of the yellow pages, and no map to take it’s place…

If any of you, fellow lonely writers, feel as I do, please feel free to let me know in the comments. Better yet, if anyone is interested in working with a gal on an atrociously long, urban fantasy series about the afterlife and values of humanity, that is probably vastly offensive to anyone even remotely religious, please feel free to contact me. I need some trustworthy penpals/email/4am skype friends.

Have a great day everyone, and may your writerly prayers be answered.

Finding focus

Sometimes life has a way of stepping in and keeping you from your goals. The car breaks down, the pipes freeze over and it seems like everything is totally out of your control.

You’ve got two options.

Curl back up under your covers and reacquaint yourself with tumblr or Netflix, or….

Take back control.

Shit happens. Not everything is going to go to plan all the time. Hell, half of the things I plan to do never see the light of day because so much goes on in my life. But isn’t doing half of what you hoped to better than not doing anything at all?!

If you’re anything like me, then one thing gone wrong can ruin your day. Far to often I let that angry conversation, stubbed toe, or pile of dishes ruin my mood and spoil productivity for the rest of my evening

Certainly it’s easier to catch up on old star trek episodes than to tackle that troublesome scene that seems to be just one more problem on the heap of problems in my day.

But it really doesn’t have to be.

Everyone’s a little different when it comes to finding the peace and the mindset to make real headway on a project. So here’s a list of some of the things which help me find focus during hectic or otherwise miserable days.

Journaling
Hot Tea
Chocolate
Reading a few chapters of a favorite book
Warm bath
Running
Yoga
Sketching my scenes and it’s problems
Creating lists of what I have to be happy about in my life
Listening to my favorite playlist/soundtrack
Hugging my pets
Hugging significant others

I’m sure some of these might be helpful and others won’t be, but just remember that if you want something to happen, you’ve got to put the effort in.

It’s easy to work on the good days, but working on the bad ones is more meaningful in the long run.

Besides if you can finding happiness without the stars and planets aligning to give you a perfect day, then you’ll have a lot more good ones than bad.