I’m mourning the end of the holidays, though not for the reasons you’d suspect. I don’t decorate, I don’t socialize much, I try not to overindulge in seasonal delicacies.
I do, however, get into a pattern where I can write for days on end. I might have to pop into the office later in the day, but mostly, over the holidays, I can get up, and write at least a couple thousand words, day after day.
I expect I get the same buzz from a writing jag that other people get from going to gym (and I NEVER get from exercise, ever, period, don’t even glance down that path). When I can consistently add to a story, I have a lovely sense of living with it–waking up in the story world, visiting it again last thing of the day, seeing it in my dreams. The sense of forward momentum is BLISSFUL, and tends to be self-reinforcing.
I’m making progress, so the story stays with me, so I make faster progress–Wheeee! When I can catch this vibe of productivity and creativity, it’s barely work. It’s what I was born to do, and sitting in my writing chair, I’m soaring.
And yet… I’m a voracious consumer of trivia, and one of the items I’ve come across in my travels is a description of the traits attributed to people who consider themselves lucky, versus unlucky. One that stands out to me is that people who feel lucky avoid hamster-wheel routine. They go on frolics, take a different way to work, grab a sandwich from the new place at the end of the block.
Unlucky people, often burdened by greater negativity and anxiety, tend to stick to their well trodden paths. The problem with the familiar, though, is that we stop seeing it. We go into screensaver mode, seeing what we expect to see when we even bother to look.
The person who has the confidence and curiosity to step off the beaten track by contrast, will end up in new territory. When we’re in new territory, we look around, and we see with new eyes. We pay attention, we’re less in thrall to our hidebound expectations.
So my writing orgy is over for now, and I miss it, but I’m also aware that getting out of that joyous rut can bring me new plotting ideas, new writing connections, and new resources. I can find that comfy rut again, but I also need the sense of frolic and adventure that’s the opposite of a rut.
What small frolic can you go on this week? A new coffee shop? A new author? A different entre on date night? Is there a blissful rut you’d like to try, and a way to set that up?
To one commenter, I’ll send a signed copy of “The Soldier,” a story about a guy who was in all the wrong ruts, and got sorted out when he found new scenery, and new loves.