So I don’t remember if this has come up before, but I’m currently unemployed. Yes, I’m part of that 10% of the population. I work in restaurants, and while I always seem to be qualified I never seem to get consideration for the jobs I apply. I’m not intending to bitch about being out of work though, it’s just a nice lead-in. I’ve come to think of myself as self-employed, trying to spend as much of my time writing, or thinking about writing. I plot, I plan, I take a lot of hastily scribbled notes. I read and watch TV, the writer’s mind dissecting and analyzing everything for possible story ideas, lessons to learn, neat tricks or bad tricks.
I have made Being a Writer a full time job, these past few months. My wife is very patient, but she also understands. And I’ve made lots of headway on various projects, though few of them are near completion. The hazard is procrastination. I can always think of something I could be doing instead of writing. Writing can always happen later. Take today for example. I had intended to wake up early and go to my favorite cafe to get some work done. But instead I opt for spending a lazy Saturday at home with the wife, relaxing and getting caught up on our television watching.
I’m not one to speak for other writers’ processes, but I do most of my hard thinking while doing other things. Walking, listening to music, cooking, cleaning. Any time I’m doing something that doesn’t require my full concentration, the writer’s mind goes to work on whatever it wants to. Sometimes I get a really awesome idea, scribble it down and then figure out how to put it together later.
I’ve also learned that writing is an almost painful act. I’m going to make myself seem like a lunatic here. I have these half-formed thoughts lodged in my brain sometimes, half an idea, part of a character, a snapshot of a scene, and they just sort of hover around in the back of my mind being obnoxious bastards. The act of getting ideas out can be hazardous to my mental state, contributing to my general irritability (I can be cantankerous).
This week has been one of those bad weeks. Lots of thinking, very little writing.