Recently someone asked me a two-fold question: am I a morning or a late-night person, and how do I stay inspired? Well, then, that's a loaded one. :)
To the first half, neither! On the one hand, I enjoy writing in the mornings because I feel productive; there's nothing quite like living the rest of my day with the knowledge that I wrote a chapter that morning. But I also enjoy writing late at night because I'm trying to keep my eyes open at the same time as my heart is pumping with the excitement of whatever scene I'm in. It's exhilarating.
But I'm neither an early bird or a night owl right now. At this stage in life, I write during my lunch hour at work.
The latter half of the question, though, is even more complicated. Right this very second, I'm inspired. I'm excited to be guest posting on the Writer's Alley, a writing blog I've loved for years. Outside my office window, a thunderstorm is shaking the forest. But, to be honest I'm not always inspired. I know, I know, surprised, right? :)
In answer to that question, I said, I write. Or I don't. Sometimes when a scene idea pops into my head, I write it down right then. In chapter form, on the back of a napkin, or in a note on my new Iphone. I sometimes let it simmer for a while.
Or I don't. Sometimes when I'm not feeling particularly like writing but it's my designated writing time, I tell myself to take a break.
That's right. I tell myself to take a break. To not use that writing time for writing, after all. I don't write.
That's not to say I don't make myself write every time I don't feel inclined to do so. Skipped writing sessions pile up on one another like the raindrops plopping onto the sidewalk outside my office window right now, until suddenly I could be staring at a puddle of a month gone by with no words written. That's not good.
But neither is always forcing myself to produce words, I've found. That may work beautifully for some (I commend you), but I've discovered I'm a healthier person when I realize the artist, the wordsmith, in me needs room to breathe.
Sometimes I don't make myself write on my lunch break. Other times I let myself stay up untilto finish writing a chapter just to see how the scene will end. It's like the rain: sometimes the clouds roll in when I least expect them; other times there appears to be a slight drought.
But eventually it rains again, all is drenched, and I'm writing The End again.
When I was in college, I had more of a structured schedule because I knew when classes began and ended. Perhaps one day I will return to that same sort of predictability. For now I'm settling into a world where my novel is on shelves--it's new and exciting. So I write. Or I don't. I'm learning to give myself grace and take a break...
How about you? When during the day do you write? How do you stay inspired? Do you ever give yourself permission to take a break?
Rachelle Rea plots her novels while driving around the little town she's lived in all her life in her dream car, a pick-up truck. An Oreo addict, she is also a homeschool graduate and retired gymnast. She wrote the Sound of Diamonds the summer after her sophomore year of college.