Friday, December 6, 2013

The Writer's Happy Place

I'm in that happy place, where my new story is following me into the shower, nudging me awake, and the characters are driving to the post office with me. I've done some pre-writing, deciding important things like what the hero desires, what her great need really is, and what moral failing may undo her world.

And now...scenes are flying at me. I'm opening doors in a labyrinth of my mind's making and discovering new worlds.

I'm grabbing pen and paper to, hopefully, capture an idea before it's lost forever. 

I'm not a literary giant by the world's standards, and sometimes the pressure to produce and succeed gets to me. That's where I was the other day, asking whether or not writing was the best way for me to invest my life. Surely, there are more noble pursuits. Aren't there?

And then the story starting snowballing on me. I tingled a bit. Hours of time flew by as if I'd been sedated into a beautiful dream. Oh, I thought, this is why I write. 

Writing is mystical, make no mistake. We step into a deeply spiritual, satisfying place when we create, even when the creating is hard, and it does get hard. I feel God's good pleasure when I write and create. (Cue the Chariots of Fire music.) That will be reason enough to push through this story. 

I better make a note of that.

So where is your happy place? How do you get there? If you find yourself in a dark corner, is it possible to release yourself? How do you hold onto the ideas that fly at you at inopportune times? High five?


Susie Finkbeiner said...

The worst time for an idea to hit is when I'm driving. And I have that happen quite often these days. I just repeat it over and over until I get to a parking spot or to my destination. Then I jot it in my notebook. I ALWAYS have my notebook with me.

I've had moments of getting into the dark corner. If I'm in the first draft, I write "HOW IS THIS GOING TO WORK????" And move on. Usually by the time I've gotten to the end, I've figured it out.

I'm excited, Patti! I know that this story of yours is going to be beautiful.

Patti Hill said...

Thanks, Susie, for your great suggestions. Sometimes I'll just add a long long, a sort of fill-in-the-blank visual cue. This is going to be a different story. I'm an agent's nightmare. I guess that's why I don't have one.

Megan Sayer said...

It's a funny old journey, the writing life, that's for sure. I'm glad you're in that happy place. I was there on Thursday, when everything started flowing, and stuff just "clicked", and I went "of course!!" and wrote it all down diligently, did some more research, write that all down. And then yesterday had the tarnished underside of that shiny flying coin of inspiration: the "meh!" moment. So I'm writing a book. Who cares! Why does this woman, this character in this story, make a scrap of difference to the world at large? Shouldn't I just quit it, help my husband, raise my children, serve my church, clean my house?
And then the sunlight shifted again, and I got it. There was this scripture I read while I was writing my last book, from Proverbs, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves." And that sense of calling, there are people trapped in the dark places, I need to go and get them.
And so I am. That's why this woman, this character, this story, will be written. It helped me see her greatest weakness and her greatest need, and the greater story behind that is gradually becoming clearer.
I'm writing it down. High five!

Cherry Odelberg said...

Not sure where my happy place is, but I know it when I get there--and, I know how to get there:
1)Play the piano
2)Take a walk in nature
3) Sleep well and wake with the sun with no agenda but to be open to the leading of the spirit

Holding on to the ideas? Now, there's a challenge!

And where do I find comfort and know I am not alone? Right here where the Novel Matters.