Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mini Writing Marathon

Yesterday after spilling a giant pot of coffee on my writing desk and ruining the white carpet right in front of it, I gave up writing for the day.  I wanted to write, knew it would make me feel better, but didn't.  I had planned a personal writing retreat, a writing marathon, a day to finish my story - with that one spilled cup of coffee, it was done before I wrote the first word.

Instead, cleaned my carpet and then had very nice time singing the Super Why version of the alphabet song with my son and then drawing pictures of our family in marker, each of us with funny hair and a thought bubble that said, "Hi!"  My son is just two and can sing the Happy Birthday song after we blew out pretend candles on ten pictures of birthday cakes, each time singing the song and wishing a wish.

This morning, I focused my energy not on writing but instead on my frustration with my perpetually messy house and the all-consuming Christmas list.  I finalized my Amazon order, searched online for the best prices for the remaining items, planned out the annual homemade cookie gifts, and color coded my Excel spreadsheet with all of the details.

Eventually this evening I simply left the house, left the big kids to their bike ride, and left my husband and baby to handle the bagging of the leaves.  I left so fast I didn't even grab my laptop bag, which I regretted later.  I left with a fully charged laptop, my cell phone, some cash in my purse, and my hot pink alien journal containing the elusive final chapters of my children's story.

When I got to the cafe at the bookstore, I was happy to see my table was open, the table where words flow out of me as if I were a medium letting other people speak through me.  The story picked up where I left it and wrote itself, two single spaced chapters, each three pages, were written over a cup of latte and a giant cheesy pretzel in a way I didn't expect to tell the story.

My husband is off work this week and offered to let me take a few hours a day, as many as I need, to go out to write.  He suggested a different coffee shop.  I told him about my lucky table and how I had great success there for whatever reason, that I am comfortable there and can trust that writer's block won't creep up on me, that I've written now ten chapters of this book at that cafe.  Ten chapters is a lot.  I am so happy.  While I didn't get a full retreat and wasn't able to motivate myself to write a word of my story in my home, I am elated that I was able to do a mini marathon at the local coffee shop and salvage the weekend.  Only about four more chapters and some edits to go....

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