Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Down Time

I've got good news to report: My Agatha teapot arrived safely:

Something to cheer me up while I'm stuck most of the day in a chair, recuperating and trying to write.

I don’t know about other writers but I need plenty of down time to be able to write well. I think that writing a novel is like a pregnancy—the baby has to progress at it’s own rate and cannot be rushed. Wouldn’t it have been nice to say “I think I’ll have this baby in nine weeks instead of nine months “ and pushed the accelerator button. But would the baby have come out as perfectly formed, with all organs working?
Such is the way with novels. They have to develop at their own pace and I need plenty of down time to allow the next scenes to develop in my sub conscious. I always notice when we have guests or life intervenes with outside appointments that my writing suffers. It doesn’t leap ahead eagerly but crawls out, word by painful word.
And there are certain things I need most to let the creative juices flow: a nice long shower is one of them. The other is driving alone in the car. I’ve used trips to the library or grocery store to talk my way through complicated scenes. In the past people used to look at me warily as I shouted at myself in the car. But now, thanks to Bluetooth, I can shout away and be considered normal.
            At the moment I have more down-time than I want, stuck in my chair staring out of the window. I wish we lived on the sort of street where intrigue might happen in a rear window opposite, but alas it’s quiet and the neighbors are too far away to watch without binoculars. So what am I doing instead, to inspire creativity? Popping. Yes, popping. I’ve been given boxes of candy, and sent presents that come with bubble wrap. Do you know how soothing and fun it is to sit popping bubble wrap with nobody telling me to shut up? So popping is my new creativity exercise. You might want to try it sometime.


  1. I agree, and I am glad that I am not the only one that feels this way. I use to think of this as wasted time; but now after gaining some ground in my writings I believe it is time well spent.

    I read in my downtime or I watch the old movies. And sometimes I just sit in my rocking chair with a pen and a tablet and wait in silence for something to seep into my thoughts. Then I write down whatever pops into my head. Sometimes I will put tablet down and let it rest for a while. Then I will pick it up and see if any of it leads to inspiration. We all have our tricks.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Take care and God Bless,

  2. Haha, Rhys, I love the image of you popping bubble wrap. I hate that it is because you're laid up, but I trust you're healing rapidly and having lots of creativity along the way. All best from Santa Monica,

  3. BTW, it took me a about 20 tries to get past the word recognition security thingy . . . this may be significantly cutting down on replies to your posts . . . .