|My writing spot waiting for me every morning.|
Between last month's post and today's, I spent nearly three weeks in beautiful Ireland--my fourth trip, in fact, and the best one yet. I had a list of research topics for the third County Clare mystery (2017) that I'm calling "Touch of Death." As an example of my research, I hit four hospitals in search of information about care for coma patients, psychiatric nursing, and end-of-life care.
(Aren't you curious about #3? But you've gotta read #2, Whispers in the Mist first. Coming August!)
If you thought our health care system was nuts--try Ireland's! In the end, I got what I needed and decided on what I could fictionalize for the sake of storytelling.
You know what I was mostly about in Ireland? Being. Just being. The joys of slowing down, of going deep into my writing rather than struggling to fit it in, fast fast fast, so fast that I often don't get a chance to savor the creative process.
OH man. The trip saved me. It really did. And I fell into the most luscious, perfect kind of busy, which is to say, occupied but not swamped, making progress but not overwhelmed. You know what I mean?
I fell into a routine that went something like this:
|Every morning little Aidan sat on my lap|
for a bit to point at things outside.
In the midst of all this gazing, writing happened. And pretty soon, I was over my "block." I'd spend my mornings writing, travel journaling, curating my photos, doing some online research (in the Irish .ie domain--much better results than I'd been getting in the States), collating research notes. The writing work part of my trip--but it didn't feel like work. Heaven!
Noonsh-->Late afternoonish: Most days I had research tasks. I did a lot of driving, which I didn't mind. I'd stop and grab shots. I'd talk to the Voice Memo app. I met up with two detectives who'd helped me with my debut novel, Kilmoon, and that was a blast! They loved receiving signed copies of the book. I'd wander off the beaten track, driving down bumpy little roads. I'd also visit tourist spots.
|What a way to greet the day!|
Evening: After a full and pleasant day, I was content to hole up in the B&B, reading, doing little research/writing tasks, relaxing.
So now I'm back to reality (I still have a day job, alas, as so many of us novelists do), and I'm doing my best to ride the writing high. So far, so good!
|Every day like clockwork.|
The trick, I think, is learning how to keep the well filled in the midst of an overly busy life with two jobs, family stuff, life stuff, everything stuff.
I've been telling everyone who will listen that I'd prefer to live a slower deep life than a faster skimming-the-surface life. Have you noticed that modern life tilts us toward the latter? So I've been thinking a lot about how I can get some of that slower, deeper in ...
|My writing spot|
What do you do to keep your well filled? Any tips and tricks welcome!