Inside a Writer’s Brain

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Some of you are going to be able to relate, nodding your heads and going “Exactly!”. The rest of you are going to be weirded out, and probably more than a little scared. But this is what being a writer is like. We’re a bit different than most people.

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I hear voices. No, they’re not dead people. They are very much alive – in my mind. They hold conversations that have absolutely nothing to do with me. I feel like I’m eavesdropping in my own head. And nine times out of ten, they start talking when I’m not ready to sit at the keyboard and get it all down. Usually when I’m just falling asleep or just waking up for the day. Or in the car while I’m running errands. They love to visit me in the shower.

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Now here’s a dilemma that is fairly recent. I have multiple projects vying to have their stories written, and they all think they should go first. I’m in the middle of book one in a new trilogy. Not only are the characters from the first book helping me write the current scene I’m working on, but they’ve jumped to other parts of the book that I’m not even ready for yet. Then there are the other two leading ladies from books two and three. They think it’s helpful to drop little tidbits about their backstories and what they’d like to see coming up in their own books. I can work with that. The other day I figured out who I would write my monthly short story (exclusive to newsletter readers) about. Yesterday was all about catching the zippy dialogue between the hero and heroine.

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I’m taking a course on strategic planning. I had mapped out a course of action that involved setting work hours. Okay, toss THAT out the window! I may set work hours. And I may work those hours. But this writer brain doesn’t turn off–ever. I have notebooks all over the house. In the car. A waterproof one in the shower (no joke!). I have a little notebook in a fanny pack (don’t judge!) for when I’m walking around the neighborhood or to get the kids at school and the gem of an idea strikes. Because if I don’t write it down the second it comes to me, it’s gone.

Bottom line: I feel like I’m paying rent in my own brain. It’s mine. But it’s really not. Isn’t there a saying about pets and homes? “It’s their house, they just let me live there.”

If you need me, I’ll be slaving away at my keyboard, racing to finish one book before the next one comes along. And btw, if you can relate, drop me a comment and commiserate. Because, while this is a pretty cool problem to have, it is EXHAUSTING.

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A Writers Retreat On A Budget

I’m lucky enough to stay home all day with the kiddos and write. But my office is currently in my bedroom. Hubby and the kids leave for school and work and head down the hall to my bedroom. Sure, I have some really productive days. But I have more days that are filled with distractions like laundry, keeping the dog busy (she can’t throw her Frisbee herself), trips to the kitchen for more coffee…you get the picture.

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Now we’re also lucky enough to have a huge storage shed in our backyard. Up until recently it was filled to the rafters with junk. But a couple of trips to the dump have taken care of most of that. It’s a few steps from the deck. It has four walls, a roof and a door. It is… perfect. Okay, not move-in perfect. The fluorescent lights burned out long ago. It would need insulation if I’m going to use it year-round. A new paint job on the outside. A massive cleaning job on the inside — I refuse to share my new workspace with spiders! And, not that I’ll see it from where I am working, some pretty new landscaping in front.

Here’s what it looks like right now (okay, a few years ago and a LOT more moss on the roof at present) There really IS a window, btw. On the left hand wall:

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So I’m reading up on tutorials on how to install insulation and drywall. I am woman, hear me roar, right? 😉 No reason why I can’t do this on my own. Throw a rug down on the cement floor, drag my desk and printer table in, cover the walls with the kids’ artwork (it’s not a proper workspace without it) and voila! New home office.

Now, to make this the perfect writing retreat, it has to set the mood before you even step inside. I’d love a pathway from the deck right up to the front door. Flagstone or something that won’t interfere with mowing the lawn on either side of it. And flowering shrubs. Something to break up the monotony of the (mildewed) siding. I wonder if hubby will let me paint it pink. Pretty please? Light pink, with brighter pink flowering bushes in the front. A scattering of wildflowers on the ground in front of that. How gorgeous would that be???

As I wait for the weather to warm up (and dry out), I am spending a lot of time on Pinterest, getting ideas. To say I’m excited is a bit of an understatement. I’ve even been to Lowes to check out prices on batting and drywall, see if I can find some decorative trim for the outside and just generally get in the DIY spirit. Too. Much. Fun.

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Okay, if my writing retreat looked like this, I would probably never leave.

 

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Kinda stark, but functional, right?

 

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How super cute is this? With a front porch? Too impractical for my home office, but lovely to look at.

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Hadn’t thought of a birdfeeder, but somehow that seems necessary now, don’t you think? We get some stunning Stellar Jays that visit us in the spring. Now if I could attract butterflies and hummingbirds too…?

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Can’t do the gravel, but I definitely need a path leading up to my workspace. My daily commute. Leaving my personal world behind as I begin to focus on my work day. I like that.

Have any of you made this type of dream a reality? I would LOVE to see photos of your own writing retreat. I’ll post pictures as I get my own space up and functional.

Spring fever — I HAZ IT! 😀