Writing in two worlds

This morning, I got up and simply knew it was going to be a great day for writing. The sun streamed into my office and the day felt full of promise. Inside my head, I could see my day full of focussed and clear thought. Here’s the two versions of my writer’s day:

In the parallel universe, which is where my writing brain lives, I sit at the desk and suddenly see the solution to all the problems in Chapter 21. I can hear exactly what the characters need to say to each other and, miraculously, I can see how they will escape from the prison where they are held captive. The words leap from my fingertips. As I scroll down through the pages I polish every paragraph until it gleams. By the end of the morning, I’ve reviewed five chapters of work. I skip into the house for a well deserved coffee.

In this universe, I open Chapter 21 and stare at the page. I write a paragraph, re-read it and think ‘ewwww’. I check my emails and quickly answer two short ones before I start to feel guilty and go back to staring at Chapter 21. After re-reading what I wrote earlier, I remove it and skip ahead to see if I can discover how to solve the fact the action is sluggish. I read to the end of the chapter and decide my brain is as sluggish as the action. I need a coffee. I try to think up a reason to walk up the street so I can have an espresso. I discover a pile of unpaid bills and spend 20 minutes sorting them so that I have something to take to the post office (cleverly giving myself an excuse for a cappuccino). At the post office, I check my post box and discover an invitation, another bill and a magazine from a subscription I keep meaning to cancel. I linger over my coffee reading the magazine and rediscover why I need to cancel the subscription. Guilt sets in again. Back at the desk I open Chapter 21. Hmmmm… maybe I need another coffee.

Kirsty is an Australian author of books for children and young adults.

“Every adult was once a child and the child inside them never disappears.”

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