Thursday, August 27, 2009

Don't Go In There Alone 2 Laundrygate

My dear friend, The Viking, often tells the addicts he listens to not to spend too much time alone with their thoughts.

"It's scary in there," he says,

He's right, but I believe writers have to go into their mental attics often, if they are to produce anything real and lasting.

I've been in this world for a lot of years and there's a huge pile of stuff in my attic. Some of it is useful, some of it is gratifying, some of it is boring, some of it is mean-spirited (more on that later) and some of it is terrifying. I could easily get lost in there - I suppose that supports The Vikings point - but I always return.

Sometimes what I find distresses me. I was not happy to discover that I resent the success of other writers (I mean the bad ones) or to find out that my perfectionist tendencies are even more pronounced that I had believed.

Still, I have to go in there. It's where I find the best stuff for my work. I completely understand why many writers found it necessary to over-drink, or use other substances as a way to 'get in,' 'be in the zone," and cope with/ use what they find. However, for me, the larger problem is returning to the 'real' world. That's probably why if I have only half an hour for work, very little happens. Well, that's my excuse.

How do you 'get in' and how do you get out again?

On a lighter note, there is laundrygate. My friend (and my responsibility), The Bear, is in a supported-living retirement facility. Nine pieces of his laundry have not been returned. The articles went to the laundry on Wednesday. He has quizzed the staff relentlessly and thinks that they should have to replace his clothes, if the clothes don't return - immediately. I'm glad that was his only complaint today.


Selestial said...

My attic is an interesting place, but a lot of the darker places have been carefully hidden behind walls. To get into a character's head, I had to knock down some of those walls. It was not a good time to be around me. Once I really got in her head, I was able to rebuild most of those walls, but I'm pretty sure they aren't as strong as they used to be. That's just the price I had to pay to "get" her.

I'm the same with the short work times. I need time to get out of my own head and into my character's before I can write with any success. Thirty minutes doesn't do it.

As for getting in (and finding the right place), music helps. But getting back out? The best method is to write at night and go to sleep after LOL, but otherwise it just takes time. Especially if I have to search out one of those darker corners.

Falcata Times said...

Hey Diane,
To be honest my "Attic" tends to move about depending upon what I'm writing, I do like to have everything in a place but if I'm writing a fantasy, I like to have information compartmentalised, ie, think of it as a stone walled room, roaring fire, writing desk, skull and candles, quills and parchment with all sorts of display pieces such as weaponry, books about the place and skills.

If its Urban Fantasy, then I'm in an apartment, looking out onto the city, theres still a real fire there but it has more modern touches.

Whilst this might seem a bit "weird" to some writers, by placing my thoughts into those area's it keeps it easier to keep modern life out of the way and get into the nitty gritty of the piece without having to come out of it.

Yes you still have the personal aspect of yourself within the room but by having everything in a place its easy to fathom where you are, whats of use and how to utilise it for the best possible outcome.

Julie said...

I'm not sure I've quantified it quite that much to myself. I do have to dig into dark places and am sometimes rather surprised and sometimes horrified at what I come up with.

Getting out again can be as easy as going to bed, or as complicated as getting really cranky and needing alone time with a good book. Usually when I get that bad it has to be a comfort book.

I hope your friend gets his clothes back. Nursing/retirement homes scare me.