December 2, 2013

A Perfect Writing Day

One morning, I sat in front of the computer with the goal of editing a nonfiction piece.  All it needed was minor revision.  But, my brain was not engaged.  I could feel the onset of a migraine.  Migraines are known to produce foggy thinking, and this was living proof. What should have been an easy project became an unfinished project.  This revision was going nowhere.  Luckily, I realized that instead of continuing and getting more frustrated, I needed to take migraine medicine and move away from the computer.  Far away.  It was time to take a walk.  Clear the muddiness that had settled in my brain.  

The day was chilly—jacket weather, but sunny and inviting.  Wet oak leaves matted the sidewalk in clumps. Boxwood shrubs released their earthy scent and whipped it into the breeze. Squirrels chased up trees.  A stray cat scurried into the street and stole away in a whisper.  Then, moments of pure quiet.  No thoughts of writing.  

Twenty minutes later, I stepped to our front walkway feeling relaxed and more refreshed. When I returned to the computer, I opened my email.  There waiting was an offer to teach a class on writing for children's magazines at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning.  What an honor. Sweet!

Now glowing because of the email, I thought about editing that nonfiction piece.  Naw, I opted to plunge to work on a fictional piece.  And good thing.  My muse was present and pushing me like never before, guiding me with word choice and sentence structure along the path of creativity.  I worked at a dizzying speed, trying to keep up with all of her suggestions.  Then, I returned to the nonfiction piece.  And that too, became easier to edit.  My muse did not let me down and she remained to steer me through the entire editing process.      

So what was it that led to such a successful writing day?  The exciting email was a nice touch (so was getting rid of a headache), but I think it was because of being outside. Moving away from the computer and getting in touch with nature cleared the cobwebs from my mind.  It helped set the stage for a perfect writing day. 

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