I used to use blogging as a way to avoid working on my book. Blogging is fun and easy. It’s immediate. I can post recipes and poems and pictures. I can jibber jabber about TV or books or songs or food. I get to connect with actual human beings, and we share our stories. I think of things that might make you laugh (or sometimes cry – though that’s never intentional). I anticipate my mom’s reaction (hi Mom!) and I think of my Granny reading this blog in Florida (hi Granny!).
So let me tell you how writing a book is different. Instead of connecting with actual human beings, I either talk to my cat, who doesn’t talk back, or I sit quietly and listen to The Ladies. That’s what I call the three ladies who are the main characters of my book. The Ladies are the building blocks, and I’m in the business of playing with those blocks. But I can’t see what they look like – I can only tell their shape and where they fit by feeling, by listening. So I listen to them, and I write scenes and patches of dialogue and notes and outlines. Sometimes this resembles an arts and crafts project. Usually it just means I sit in my chair, drinking coffee and water, staring into space or typing or growing despondent off of a dry, unproductive day, or high off of the energy of a productive work day. Usually, I don’t speak to anyone from the time Amanda leaves in the morning to the time she comes home at night (unless you count Facebook interactions – thank heaven for Facebook).
With all this quiet and concentration in mind, I always mean to work on the book in the morning, and then blog in the afternoon. It seems like a great way to have the best of both worlds.
But it reminds me a bit of this Coyote and Road Runner cartoon.
I come climbing up over the cliff, tired, panting, shaken, after a morning of writing. Metaphorically. The real life manifestation is giddy, caffeinated, clumsy, quiet, and definitely working the crazy eye. I climb over the cliff’s edge, ready to have some lunch and then switch gears into blogging. And then a damn Road Runner (again, metaphorical) plows into me and sends me over the edge of the cliff. That whistle noise, the subsequent splat – that’s my energy level. My ability to continue to stare at a screen.
I’m not gone forever. I’m not even gone temporarily. I’m just figuring out how to party with The Ladies and then hang out on the blog too. I’m figuring out how to be the Road Runner and not the Coyote.