Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Friday, November 12, 2004

In the zone.

This blog is short because I'm "in the zone" with my writing. I am working on the final rewrite of my novel (a previously published one getting placed with a new house since the publisher went belly up -- I'll write more on this later).

And for the sake of saving anyone from mental overdrive, "in the zone" is my way of saying I am WAAAAAAAY too involved with a book or writing project right now.

It can be frustrating when this happens; I've been known to get sick from malnourishment, get into accidents and/or make dumb mistakes that would put any bona fide blonde to shame. And even though it's not permanent (and short if it happens when I'm writing an article), it can be pretty scary, too.

Any writer may be anxious to start a new book or happy about being "on a roll" with their book. Me, I'm filled with a sense of dread and anxiety. I love to write. I love to create "worlds" and "act" in different roles. But when I get a little too deep into a book, it can get pretty hard to remember that I live in the real world. With real world responsibilities (namely, caring for a toddler). I stock up on emergency supplies (freezer food, diapers, LOTS of soda and dog food) then get cracking. Pretty soon, the laundry piles up, clean dishes are scarce, I start to smell bad because I've hardly showered and the meals start to suck. Yup, I am now "in the zone."

I keep saying so many times that, in order for me to keep going strong as a writer, I need someone to drag me away from the computer every once in a while to eat something, pay a bill, give the baby her bath, do a load of laundry, etc. I've tried taking breaks to do this in between writing, but the results have been disastrous. If not a little funny.

So far this week, I have:

  • Put the wrong date on a form.
  • Stopped at a stoplight -- that was green.
  • Put Jennifer's shoes on the wrong feet -- twice.
  • Hit the wrong buttons on the TV remote control, several times.
  • Thrown away good mail and kept the junk. (Ugh.)
  • Put coffee in a bottle and milk in a coffee cup.
  • Sent E-mail to the wrong person.
  • Forgot about someone's E-mail or someone waiting to hear from me -- all blooming week!

To any other writer, they might empathize with being "in the zone." Heck, they might even SYMPATHIZE. The things we do can be funny, yes, but also disastrous. Which is why I've pretty much cut down on driving anywhere, at least until I'm done with the book. (Don't get me started on how many stop signs I have ran. Is it any wonder why writers turn into hermits?? The streets are safer without us driving on it!!)

When I'm done with this book, it'll be time to start my next one! Thank God it's nonfiction.

(P.S. This post was edited three times.)


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