Usually during the summer I read, and read, and read. When I go to the cottage the first thing I pack is a milk crate jammed full of books. And in case I run out, I gave a Kindle, also fully loaded. I look forward to these long hours when I have nothing more to do than read. But this year nothing like this is happening. Why? Because my poor brain is on a full boil, completely focused, blinkered to the life around me. In other words, I am living on Merculian.
This has happened before but never to this extent. Usually when I write I can take a break from time to time and read a book. Now, when I try, (and believe me, I have tried!) I feel antsy, anxious and frustrated. I can’t concentrate on what is going on with the plot. And these are good books! It’s not that. It’s just that someone else’s world cannot hold my attention because I want to go back to my world. The one in my head.
You might get the idea from this that I am pounding on the old laptop from morning to night but nothing could be further from the truth. I can barely eek out one scene a day. But in my head, the story lurches on, unrolling in my mind every night when I go to bed. I actually look forward to these times the way some sane people might look forward to a favourite TV show. And every morning I make some notes and write another scene. Or part of a scene, or I go back to add some witty dialogue that came sauntering through my head as I was falling asleep. The wonder of all this is that I do remember it. Most of the time I can barely remember what I came downstairs for!
The writing life is odd. We all work in different ways. But underneath the differences is that same urge, like an underground river, forcing its way into the light. We wouldn’t have it any other way!