So it turns out that I can write a book and also do other things, but writing a book plus anything else equals total disaster for the rest of my life. The last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on the new column for Redbook (the first one will appear in the January 2010 issue), so I neglected some other matters. Like remembering to eat, or talking to people. Also writing in this here blog.
And. And I just stared into space for about fifteen minutes while I tried to think of something else to write. Listen. I know you didn’t need to know that. I realize you are not reading this as I write. I thought I’d take you along for a minute on my mind journey. If it’s going to go blank for a bit, why shouldn’t you know? Don't you want to join me in my fugue state?
When I say I spent the last couple of weeks writing my Redbook column, what I mean is that I spent one week hiding under the duvet insisting that I have nothing worthwhile to say to anyone, and another week hiding under the duvet, emerging to tap out a few words, running around screaming that I’m a worthless hack, and then diving headfirst back under the duvet. You think I’m exaggerating, don’t you? I can see it on your face. All right, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, shut up.
I don’t know if writing is this way for anyone else, but when I’m faced with a deadline, the few days beforehand are torture. (And yet I could never get anything done without a deadline. And meeting a deadline is an unparalleled relief.) The only way I can get anything done is the following: I must 1) wear a hooded robe or sweater, hood up, and 2) put a blanket over my head, so as to create another hood over the hood, and if that’s not enough I 3) close my eyes while writing. Is that not utterly pathetic? I have to squirrel myself away in a cocoon of emotional comfort so that I can (sometimes tearfully) bang out the last few words I require to get the job done. But for whatever reason, this works for me.
I mentioned some of my bizarre habits to my Redbook editor (on whom I may have a burgeoning girl-crush—but I won’t admit to anything, except secretly when I whisper it in my pillow), and she seemed unfazed. She said brightly, “Well, that’s your process!”
So I am not insane. I have figured out my process. And you? Do you have one? Come on, admit it.