Monday, August 6, 2007

Inspirational Recharge

Writing is a job you don't turn off. At least, if there's a switch, I haven't found it. When a serious writer—even one who writes funny stuff, like me—is in the midst of a book, she tends to eat, sleep, and breathe her story. I know I do. I probably even dream it. I haven't been lucky enough to remember any helpful dreams, darn it all. Darn it! But, I'm pretty sure the all night show's going on in a little pink cloud over my sleeping head.

I wake up, and poof! Zippo. So, it's back to being relentless about working on my story, plotting and drafting and editing and revising and angsting to make it all just the way I want it to be: a good story well told.

Sometimes we, as writers, push so hard that we need to take a mental step back. We need to get away from the work and recharge ourselves enough to recapture the joyful experience that writing was meant to be. It shines through in our work when we do.

This weekend I did just that. A group of close friends and I took a camping trip into northwestern Michigan, the region where my Kate London Mystery Series takes place. The weather has been spectacular, the waters as crystal blue as the Caribbean, and the people as quirky and fun-loving as ever. It's been wonderful. I am currently sitting in a wireless cafe in Petoskey, Michigan overlooking the gorgeous bay while I write this post.

I've walked the beach where Kate would walk, watched the shooting stars she would see, danced my heart out, okay, danced my butt off at Legs Inn, the awesome Polish restaurant/ eclectic folk collection/ gardens/dance bar at the edge of the world, and walked the streets where Kate might shop for deep-discount designer shoes.

I'm tired but completely recharged. As Julia Cameron teaches us in her wonderful book, The Artist's Way, it is crucial that we recharge our artistic batteries. Tomorrow when I arrive home, I will be inspired, recharged, a little weary, but ready to write.

What inspires and recharges you?
P.S. You can look for my mystery, BrigaDOOM, for a comedic peek into northwest Michigan life.


Mark Terry said...

I guess we're crossing paths. I'm currently in my sister's condo on Higgins Lake. We hit Traverse City--sand dunes, Don's Drive-in, Horizon Books, Cherry Republic, etc.--because the weather was so-so.

Am I recharging? Dunno.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Susan, I hope Leggs Inn is in the next book! It's sounds like a perfect spot for Kate.

In about 4 weeks I'm taking off for MA/VT/NH for 10 days. I'm attending a family wedding, doing research and a book signing tour, but I've also insisted on carving out 4 days just for me. I'm going to a Vermont farm B&B to relax, recharge, read, and, oh yeah, maybe write.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful way to recharge! I would love to someday write a book while spending time in nature.

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Bill Cameron said...

Writing actually IS my recharge. I get burned out in my day job, and find renewal when I sit down to write. I don't know if it will always be this way, and certainly I take breaks from writing, also known as "not having any ideas that interest me at the moment," but writing itself is my way of chilling out.

Felicia Donovan said...

I'm with Bill on this one. Because of the stress of the day job and being on call all the time, writing is one of the few things that I feel I have full control over. That, in itself, recharges me. Controlled chaos...

Susan Goodwill said...

I agree, too, that writing is a recharge at times. Inspiration sometimes comes from taking a few steps back, though. Kind of like viewing a painting.
Off to use those recharged`batteries now.

Anonymous said...

All this talk about your writing, but the photo on this post is very poignant. I truly like the boat half out of water.

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