Monday, May 20, 2013

Marinating in Real Life: A Recipe for Better Moments on the Page

A large part of what we do as writers—or what I think we need to do—is marinate in real-life. Being in the moment is so important to creating moments on the page.  
I did a lot of marinating in real-life this weekend as I planned and hosted my son’s 8th birthday party. When the birthday milestones roll around, I try to soak up my kids’ kidness a bit more than usual. Never again will I have a seven year old boy. Nothing seems more important than remembering  every last bittersweet drop of him at age seven. He picked an air show theme (the Cleveland airshow is cancelled this year due to sequestration issue and he was supremely bummed out). On Saturday afternoon, my backyard was filled with high-energy eight year old boys and their five year old sisters. It was like picture book and middle grade characters smashing into one another at every turn—inspiration for my stories running through the grass. 
Hanging out with my son and a gaggle of his friends gave me a chance to soak up their kidness. (This is something teachers get to do every day, which is why I’m so envious of their profession.) It’s not only good for the soul, it’s great to fill the creative well.
So, my weekend word count is non-existent, but that’s ok.  Being in the moment with my kiddo and his friends will help me create better moments on the page this week. (Especially while eating leftover birthday cake.)
How does taking time off from word-count worries help your writing?


Angelica R. Jackson said...

My husband was gone overnight this weekend and my original plan was to outline some revisions. But I just couldn't get motivated for it, so instead I played around with a mock cover for my latest WIP. It was a fun way to stretch my brain in another creative direction, and to recharge.

Toni Kerr said...

I rarely left my work behind when I stepped away from the computer... but now I find that if I make a conscious effort to give it a rest, I can focus much better when I need to. I figure 90% brain power for 3 hours is more productive than 20% power for 5 hours. It took a few years, but I've come to accept that the breaks are important!