Taking the Muse to a hotel room

Note to self and to all others who write for a living: Never, ever, ever agree to a January 1st deadline.


Why not? Let me count the ways – NCTE/ALAN, Thanksgiving, Daughters 1, 2 & 3, Boyfriends of Daughters 1, 2 & 3, and Number One Son, the 25-person family extravaganza called Christmas dinner, etc. etc, etc.

Life calms down AFTER January 1st, not before. Doh!

I have been working on my new YA on and off for months, but I keep being interrupted; by travel, conferences, speeches to write, interviews, last edits on the historical books, research and planning for the next historical, and all of the above-mentioned winter/holiday frenzy.

To be blunt, I was getting near meltdown about giving the book the energy and focus it needed. My Beloved Husband had the answer: I needed to run away from home. Which was not the answer I was looking for, but he was right. I have a great writing set-up; house in the country, supportive partner, no toddlers hanging around, luring me to play outside. But I needed total solitude so I could immerse myself in the story – no interruptions, no threats of interruptions. I needed to go to the Magic Place.

After giving a speech at Syracuse University and dinner with a dear friend and her daughter Friday night, I holed up in an undisclosed location (fairly comfortable hotel) and got busy. I am not going to tell you how many pages I wrote – I hate it when people get competitive about page counts or word counts. But I’ll tell you this: I arrived with a character in my head. I am leaving with her story on the page. I doubled my personal page goal, and I thought that goal was unrealistic to begin with. (This was the raw draft; the brain dump onto the page. I don’t know that I would even call it a first draft, not yet. But it’s close.)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Magic Place.

I am feeling better about being a writer right now than I have for about six years. Because I spent two very, very long days and nights completely given over to a story. I ate and wrote, went out for more food, wrote some more. Ate a snack, wrote. I feel kind of crappy about not running, but I didn’t want to lose a precious minute. I fell asleep thinking about the story, I woke up thinking about the story. I had many instances of unreality, not sure where I ended and the story began.

I did not totally abandon my family. I fielded several Santa question calls and checked in with my BH several times a day. He’s going to be picking me up in a few minutes and we are off to celebrate Jessica’s birthday.

So today I feel like a writer, a real writer. I highly recommend this sort of weekend to everyone who is fighting to find time to write.


16 Replies to “Taking the Muse to a hotel room”

  1. Note to self and to all others who write for a living: Never, ever, ever agree to a January 1st deadline.

    Duly noted, thanks.

    Congratulations on your writing progress. It does sound like a magical experience! 🙂

  2. Congratulations! I know what you mean about interruptions. Sometimes just hearing them laugh and fool around in the other room distracts me, even though their laughter together is the most wonderful sound on earth ~ a happy family is heaven! I just need that solitude so that I can, as you said, “immerse myself” in that other world. Once I’ve gotten a good start on my story and I know my main characters, it’s not quite as crucial for me to be totally secluded, but if it can be done, I go for it!! I don’t go off on my own often, though, because then my distraction becomes…missing my husband! (LOL!)

  3. That’s inspiring. Makes me wish I had the kind of money to go and do that. 🙂

    I suppose everyone has to find their own Magic Place, and mine will have to be free! XD

  4. Wow, sounds like an awesome 2 days. I wish I could be that devoted and clear my head enough to think about characters and plot haha. I’m glad you got to get some work done, I hope you can make the “first rough draft” by the deadline, I bet it’s awesome so far.

    …Any hints as to what it’s about?

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