Lend Me Your Ears

Sunday, July 4, 2010

If you lend me your ears, I'll give them back. I promise! :D  I hope this post finds you well and healthy and writing your brains out.

I'm jotting down this brief missive from Rome. Talk about a Roman Holiday!  Furnace Girl, Muffin, and I, and a few friends decided Thursday to boogie north to the Eternal City for the four day weekend and celebrate Independence Day by doing some sightseeing.

The places we've seen are nothing short of amazing.  The Colosseum is colossal.  Palatine Hill is palatial.  The Pantheon is pantheistic.  In short this eclectic city, the New York of Italy if you will, thrills and titillates, frolics and surprises.  You're never sure what's around the next corner, and whatever it is, it is sure to impress, fire the imagination, and feed the soul of vagabonds like us.

All this cultural intensity has got my creative juices sizzling like a Fourth of July burger on a charcoal grill. I've not written a single word, but within hours of arrival, the old creative buzz announced itself with great fanfare, and now I'm rarin' to churn out page after page upon our return to Sicily tomorrow.

I do admit to being a tad nervous about getting back to writing, and for this I seek your counsel.  You see, I am both physically and mentally distant from the place where I've done my most recent best work.  I have avoided thinking about it much, but the plain fact is that I wonder how to start again.  Does anyone else deal with this problem?

Perhaps it's a silly question, but I'll ask it anyway: what strategies do you employ when it comes time to jump back in the writing pool again?

15 bolts from the blue:

Ted Cross said...

I have to move every two years or so, and I do find it difficult to get back into the flow of writing. I don't know how I get over it, except that there comes a point where I feel terrible about the long layoff and I force myself to start again.

Yeah, I love Rome. I can't wait to go back, though the prices are killer.

Summer said...

I suppose I do as many other things as I can to reorient myself with the mood--music, particular books or poetry that brings me there, a certain beverage. And then I read through the last few chapters to get back into my voice, and then I go.

Glad you're having fun in Roma! Looking forward to pictures...? :-)

Jerry said...

Don't worry. Don't set the stage. Do not search for props. Sit and write. Your fingers will guide you.

Your soul is your stage and your imagination the props. Just do it.


SM Schmidt said...

Butt in chair. Open whatever program you use to write, put the butt into the chair and start typing. Ignore the first few things that come out because it'll be like writing with a pen that only half works, sputtering until the flow comes back.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Yup, others have already said it: BUTT IN CHAIR. Just do it.

Happy 4th and welcome back to writing! :)

Anne R. Allen said...

Playwright Marsha Norman once counseled: "don't try to write about something until it's over." So when you're in the middle of the wild stimulation of Rome is not the time to write about it. Take down raw data and capture the emotion, yes, but not with an eye to finished product. When you do put butt in chair, you may find you want to write about something quite different--something that your subconscious has been processing for months or even years.

Robin said...

Rome is completely overwhelming, particularly if you're only there for a few days. At least that was how it was for me. So much to see and not nearly enough time. I went back in 1999 and I still don't have that trip completely sorted out in my head, so I think that Anne probably has a point in her comment. Of course, it all depends on how a place comes into play in your story. Is all of the action happening there or is it just a pitstop? If it is a pitstop, no one would expect your main character to have a "handle" on anything. In fact, being overwhelmed would be the primary feeling in a place like Rome. So, remember that and use it. As for getting back into writing... I have been having that very conversation with myself for about a week now. I think, "Just do it," is the answer.

Jo Schaffer said...

When I was in Italy I never got down as far as Rome! I wish there had been time. I spent a lot of time in Tuscany. Florence was a fave. And Venice was novel, but smelly.
Rome is historically epic...and I will have to get there next time.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Ah, Roma. One of the places I'd love to teleport, along with Florence and Venice. I'm so glad you are consuming it with passion. When you have time to write, perhaps start with simple imagery of the things you've been experiencing, just to play with words for a bit, lubricate the joints.

Claire Dawn said...

I wish I knew how to get back into it. Right now I'm dawdling- which is really bad, cuz I'd like to have a completed draft for a conference in October.

Liza said...

I give myself a deadline and then sit my bottom back in the chair. It's the only way!

Lola Sharp said...

BICFOK. (butt in chair, fingers on keyboard)

Though sometimes when I'm overwhelmed with inspiration, but unclear what it is I want to write about, I use a pen and a notebook and write pretty words and sentences, brainstorming, maybe notes and ideas. Eventually something starts to solidify and I open the Word doc and just begin typing with whatever that solidified thought happened to be. Sometimes it is just crap writing but it leads me to what I REALLY want to write. The point is to just begin writing. Once you really BIC, it will begin to flow and take form.

I'm so happy that you got to go to Rome! :)


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kimberlyloomis said...

First: What a wonderful trip. *sigh*

Second: I reread parts of the work to re-acclimate myself to the environs of the character. Music and talking to other people about the project also helps me get back into the mindset required for the work.

Good luck and congratulations on facing and owning your fear. Can't move through it without acknowledging it. :)

Brian Keaney said...

Funnily enough, one of the strategies I employ to get me writing again is a visit to Rome, which nearly always results in a new book or a new idea for a book.

Waddaya wanna say?

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