The Warrior Writer

I’ve been reading advice on writing from various sources and the consensus seems to be; write first-thing in the morning. Apparently, that’s what many of the great writers do. Some wake up around 5:30 or even before and get right to work.

I pretty much always wake up early. Often before dawn. But unlike the great writers I’ve been reading about, I usually linger in bed waiting until the last possible minute before I need to leave for work, and then rush around to get ready.

One morning this week, as soon as I woke up, I decided to get up, brush my teeth, get dressed, and head downstairs to write. I had about two hours to write if I was to leave at my usual time.

I grabbed a glass of water with ice, and my laptop. I sat on the couch and started working on The Creeplies.

I was doing it! What I was writing was maybe not great, but I was doing it like the greats!

I was able to write for a full hour before I started to doze off. I turned off my laptop and took a nap on the couch. I figured I’d wake up when Chris would come downstairs to leave for work.

Although it wasn’t the perfect writing session, it was definitely a good start. I’m sure I can get used to this routine without even needing to nap.

When Chris came downstairs, I woke up. We talked a little, hugged, kissed goodbye. I drank my coffee, had a bagel, and then left for work.

As I was leaving home, there was a soft, light, fluffy, slow snow falling. The magical kind.

I got in my car, put on an audio book on writing, and drove off.

I was very much at peace. The romantic “life-is-wonderful” type of peace. I was even happy there was traffic because it meant I could enjoy more of the audiobook. Traffic usually makes me grumpy.

While I was driving, the woman narrating the audiobook was describing how writers typically feel when they sit down to write. She’s describing the doubt and self-loathing and struggle they may feel before being able to get a few words down. I tried to remember how I was feeling this morning when I was writing.

Immediately, I heard the deafening scream of a warrior as she was charging into battle. I could actually see her furrowed brow, her crazy eyes, her mouth stretched out in the scream. Her wild long brown hair dancing in the wind. Her right arm above her head wielding a heavy wooden caveman type club ready to clobber her opponent. I love that image! A warrior writer!

The rest of the morning was all pleasant conversations and compliments.

Now I don’t know if the early morning writing was responsible for the great start to my day, but I’ll definitely work on making it a habit, summon the warrior writer, and see what happens.

Stephen King On Writing

Alright, for some reason, King’s work has been on my path lately.

I started following him (and a few other authors I could think of) on Twitter when I decided to take my writing seriously. I figured I should surround myself, even if it was just virtually, with other writers. And I’m glad I did, because one of his tweets inspired a story (which is still simmering).

On Writing came up often as recommended reading for me in 2017. So I bought it and it’s the first one I read from my 2018 reading list.

And now, from reading it, three things have happened:

  1. I want to read more.
  2. I want to read more of his stuff.
  3. I now feel I have permission to write what and how I want.

I’m not usually drawn to the genre of fiction he writes. But I quite enjoyed his writing style. I want more!

The first part of On Writing is a sort of brief biography on how he got into writing. He has a sort of disclaimer at the beginning saying that he only remembers snippets of his childhood, so that’s what and how he wrote it. Reading that lifted a self-imposed weight from my shoulders.

Where did that weight come from?

Well, one piece of advice I’ve read on writing (from a few different sources) suggests to practice by writing about your life. That’s always sort of stopped me in my tracks. I don’t think that I could write all of my life story with great accuracy. So, since I don’t expect to write it perfectly, I haven’t even been able to start writing it at all.

However, King wrote what he remembered of his childhood. And as I was reading, I started to see how I could do something similar with my life story. In fact, some of his memories triggered some of mine. They’re not even similar, but nevertheless, they were triggered.

Ah! Maybe I’m starting to sound like a weirdo?

I’m not obsessing over King. He just happens to be one of the current muses. And who cares where inspiration comes from, as long as it comes. Right?