Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nothing, Continued

So, yesterday, after writing my post, the kids finally went to bed and I got some chores done and ate and then took a shower, washed my hair, got dressed... you know the maintenance of daily living. I then sat down to write my word count for the day and was...


I found myself in a place of plot jumble. And a place of exhaustion. I sat there, in my writing corner, for a while, mulling over what I had written. I pounded out a confused 790 words mostly on a scene that I will probably delete/hilight in red for deletion after nano. I stared out the window. I took some self portraits of me in my writing "studio." (That's my inspiration board/altar you see behind me, with flowers, tower of stones, a small cardboard house that I made, paintings and prints, art supplies, magazine clippings and the cat who likes to bless the altar/inspiration.) I had a tootsie pop from the kids halloween stash. And then I decided to take a nap.

During writing time. I don't take naps, so it's a reflection of how tired I was. But more than that, it is about giving myself some space to do nothing. I have been working really hard for a long time now, leaving not much for rejuvenation.

So I decided to do nothing (or as much nothing as I could) for the rest of the day. I took a magazine with me when the kids played in the garden, and I flipped through it, rather than trying to draw or write in my journal or even do a photo shoot. I let the kids choose their own dinner and ended up with a mishmash of sandwich/snacks/leftovers. I watched a good movie on the big screen, lights off, instead of painting during tv time.

I feel better today. And today is starting my weeklong 38th birthday week. My mom is taking the kids out to shop for my birthday present and I am going to sit in a coffeeshop and write and draw and read magazines and be a non mommy for a few hours. Tee Hee. I don't do much to celebrate the actual day, so I like to indulge myself a few times and relax for the week.

I wonder if my productivity will come back with energy because I gave myself room to do nothing, to let my subconscious free, to dream, to sleep, to play, to relax.

I tell you, it wasn't until I was thinking that I'd have nothing to post today that I realized how the image from yesterday had influenced my whole day. Very interesting. Nothing can really be powerful.

nanowrimo total 32950
AEDM # 14 (Self Portrait in Writing Studio)


Shelly Lowenkopf said...

In writing, nothing often translates to silence, one character not knowing how to respond or not trusting herself to respond. Nothing is as vivid a presence as Flying Girl; nothing is a moment, a beat, a space between notes.

"So you have nothing to say to me?"
"I have nothing to say to you."
"Nothing. You have nothing to say."

Yep, it's an old actor's exercise, but also a writer's because among other things it is tangible proof that the characters are listening to one another; it is also time for one of the characters to experience some spontaneous response, such as being bored and threatening to leave.

When my characters have nothing to say, I become curious to find out what it is they are fearful of saying were they to speak. Also what the condition of having nothing to say will provoke.

Happy birthday.
You're telling me Happy Birthday?
I'm telling you Happy Brthday.

Kate Lord Brown said...

Happy Birthday Week! Go, relax, fill the well! Get some sleep - your productivity is awesome. You're way ahead with NaNo. Rest on it, walk on it ... plots will untangle, characters will talk. Oh ... to sit in a coffee shop without someone knocking your coffee over, needing the potty or whining until you leave. Half sipped Americanos are a mother's lot. Enjoy!

Squirrel said...

I have had nothing to write in days and my nanowrimo count has been left in the dust. I was bemoaning my blankness to myself, at work, then errands today, then a very luxurious errand, the one thing I will do for myself even if we are homeless, and driving home in the rain, suddenly, three stories started writing themselves in my head. Three! (I'm writing a story collection, not novel). It's all a mystery to me, just like eclipses, the light sparkling behind the dark.

mapelba said...

Nothing can be amazing and scary. Nothing is fine. Naps are great.

Go enjoy your birthday. Nothing more to say.

Lynn said...

I believe while doing "nothing" you are thinking. I know when i am doing nothing or showering or dreaming or sleeping which all looks like doing nothing (important) I am actually creating without realizing I am thinking of creating. I woke up today with the idea that my art quilt in progress needed butterflies, I went downstairs and found butterflies, cut them out and popped them on...then I went and washed dishes (nothing much) and thought about re-positioning each and every piece on the quilt. I did, and boy it looks much better...I even added a block to even things out.
So doing nothing is obviously actually doing ideas generate from the unconscious and then onto paper or cloth as the medium serves you. So enjoy doing "nothing" and trust that something is cooking in there while you are. (in my humble opinion).

and Happy birthday!

Natasha said...

Happy Birthday kiddo! May this year be filled with new adventure, a little more time to create, laughter, fun and wild surprises!!

I'm with Lynn...when I am doing nothing...sometimes even just napping...I wake or turn from what I was doing and suddenly realize I know how to solve that creative problem....nothing + the odd nap = something magical

D'Arcy said...

I hope "non-mommy" (um, by the way, who does not look a day over 30!!) had a quiet coffee shop deserve it my friend.

All this work puts me to shame!!

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