Saturday, November 05, 2005

Channeling Writer Zen

If any of you have met Dorchester author Marjorie Liu, you know she's a very zen like person. I would love to have the focus and serenity that she exudes on a daily basis. So when she explained her secret to writing a book in a month, I paid attention. I hope she doesn't mind, but I'm posting her secret here:

1. I sit down at the computer.
2. I let go. I give my mind permission to do its thing.
3. I don't get up from the computer until a) I really have to go to the bathroom, b) the dog really has to go to the bathroom, c) I have to eat or else my stomach will eat itself, and d) it's time to sleep.

Simplistic but smart, right? So I decided to try it today. I wasn't in the mood to write. I wanted to do anything BUT write. I even had the urge to clean my apartment - which shows you how much I just did not want to write. But I had to do 3,000 words today to get back on schedule with The Book that Will Not End. So what the heck? I decided to try it.

I took a shower first, and thought of what I was going to write. I formulated the scene in my mind. Then I sat down at the computer. I let all of the week's stresses go. I didn't reread earlier parts of the manuscript. I started at an empty page. And then I didn't get up from the computer til I wrote my 3,000 words.

I was tempted. I wanted to go do other things. Nap, clean, watch movies, go jogging. But I didn't. Because I had to write my book. And I gave myself permission to do that. To let everything else go and just disolve my conciousness into this imaginary world I am creating.

And it really worked. I wrote my 3,000 words. And now I can go out tonight without feeling guilty. Without feeling all behind in my work. Without worrying whether I will finish my book on time.

Thanks Marjorie!



Bethany said...

You go girl! :-)

And hey, I NEED to do this myself. (But that laundry is piling), no really, at least 3,000 words (and the dishes), maybe more (and the kiddo really needs my attention).

Off to make it happen and then enjoy some free time, and an episode of Alias! :-)

Marjorie Liu said...

You're so sweet, Marianne! I'm really glad you were able to get your 3000 words in. There's never a better feeling, especially when you've got a deadline looming. I'm trying to finish stuff, too, and I know how you feel.