Friday, February 19, 2016

Starting and Stopping

I am in a tunnel of writing right now. The deadline for HOOKING FOR TROUBLE is less than two weeks away. And each day I am caught with the same problem of starting and stopping.

I would like to just sit down at the computer and have my fingers start flying over the keys, but it never seems to work that way. First it seems I have to go online and pochtsky around for a while, flipping through the headlines on AOL. You notice I don’t call them news headlines. The headlines are definitely tabloid quality meant to titillate not inform. The stories are mostly incomplete so now when I’m stalling starting on my work, I don’t even click on the headlines.

Then I check the Doppler radar if there is a hint of rain. Finally, I go to my manuscript. If the first line of writing comes easily, the rest follows, but usually the first line stalls. There is much deleting and dealing words that don’t sound right. Also much panic as I think about the deadline and how far I am from the end.

Somewhere something clicks in and I finally get in the flow. Time goes by unnoticed other than when I look up at the window near me, I see the light change, then dim, then get dark.

The time comes to stop because I have to do other things, like eat or pay some bills. There is always one more thing I think of or a change I want to make. The story is rolling in my head and I make a note of what should happen next to make starting easier.

I leave the computer, but I am still somewhere else. It is hard to jump into other tasks because my mind is still in the story. I find myself thinking about an upcoming scene and writing notes on any paper I can find. It’s kind of a dreamy feeling. Gradually the real world comes back into focus. And I’m there until it is time to start again.

Now that I am back at my desktop and I can upload photos I have included the one I was going to put in last week. Seeing myself bundled up, ready to go out in the cold seems odd now that I am back in Southern California where after one day of rain and temperatures in the 60s it is going to get warm again. I made the hat on a flight to Chicago last year. It was very cool to be able to put it on when we landed.


Linda O. Johnston said...

I can identify with your getting distracted, Betty. My main excuse is that I have to figure out what my dogs want each time they bark. Then there's Facebook calling to me. But like you, I do make notes about what I'm about to write as all this is going on and that helps. And then, yes, I write!

Planner said...

Isn't it funny how we often resist doing a task we know we need to or want to get done, but then once we get started, we don't want to stop!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, I knew you would understand.

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, its all about getting in the zone. I was there today and totally lost track of time. I was off with Molly and Adele and was shocked to realize it 1 p.m. I'd been at the computer since 7 a.m. and was still not dressed and remembered I had to go to the the bank.

Miriam Lubet said...

I love the hat. Did you make the scarf too? I also love the word pochtsky and I love how you spelled it. It is such a great word.

Betty Hechtman said...

Miriam, the scarf was made by a weaver I know in Chicago. She does the best colors. Yes, pochsky is a great word. I used creative spelling.