Author Q & A: Do You Have a Special Spot Where You Write?
August 2, 2018
My first, honest reaction to this question is "I don't write." It's been a long time since I've given any substantial effort to putting words on paper (excluding rare blog posts and should-be-rarer Facebook posts). I finished writing Guinea Pig Daydreams last November, I think. I had it edited, I made a few changes, and then I started working on the illustrations, which I'm still working on. I haven't written creatively since.
Guinea Pig Daydreams started as a story idea that was jotted in a notebook after some time out in the woods (I'm pretty sure at least). I have a notebook filled with story ideas--most no more than a sentence long. If there are more words to an entry, it usually means I'm really interested in an idea and should continue paring down my thoughts, or I don't have a good enough idea of what I'm going for and am all over the place, so the idea should probably be abandoned.
After the story idea stuck with me for quite some time, I decided to expand beyond the note, ”A guinea pig daydreams that he's all kinds of different animals and the mash-ups are hilarious yet educational."
I wrote the manuscript on a computer. I used a laptop on the couch. I did the majority of the work on the couch because our apartment is small, and the desk at the time was difficult to get to, let alone sit at. I can't have any distractions when I write. That means no TV, no music with words, no visitors who are tempted to talk to me (or with whom I'm tempted to talk to).
When I wrote more regularly, I shared an apartment in Uptown with my old college roomie Krista. I wrote at the kitchen table or the couch (if I had the apartment to myself). If she was home, I would try to write in my bedroom but it would always fail. It was too messy and distracting. At that point I would venture to Gigi's restaurant, right down the road. It was slow enough during the week that I wouldn't feel guilty taking up a table and drinking Arnie Palmers by myself.
At one point, I started a writers group called Uptown Writers. I assigned word-count goals to other writers who also wanted and needed a push to write. It lasted about a year before I gave it up--most people just wanted others to read their writing, and I felt more stress coming up with meeting agendas and keeping others on track than actually finishing my own assignments.
This feels like a lifetime ago.
Has it really been more than three years since I've written something other than children's book manuscripts (and only two at that)?