From Breakthrough to Breakdown

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Like most writers, my head is full of voices,words and phrases all the time.  It rolls words around and around until they take shape as something useful.

This past Friday was an exceptional day.  I pulled up The Novel and my fingers could barely keep up with my brain.  I wrote until I could look away from the screen and still see words floating in front of my eyes.  I was in The Zone.  Whether any of it is good is quite beside the point.

I didn’t re-write, tinker, or edit.  I just went flat-out as if I was driving across an endless empty desert; no traffic, no speed limit.  The kids came home from school, I kept writing.  The cat needed food, I ignored her and kept writing.  Darkness fell over the city; I kept writing.  And, then…

Screeching halt.

I think my engine died in the middle of the word “the.” Yes, it is possible to have such a tiny word go unfinished. There it sits, on the page, “th–”  The stream of words dried up so fast it was the opposite of a flash flood; it was a flash drought.

At that short little word, my mind heard the end-of-day whistle blowing.  More than that, it was Friday – time to clock out. My brain was adamant and there was nothing left to do but snap the laptop shut and make a pizza.  

In the wee hours of this Monday morning, my brain was back on the job. Somewhere in the world, dawn had broken and my brain was ready even if my body was not.  The gates opened; a flood of words streamed through, keeping me awake for hours. 

Weekend over – back to word work.

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