Day of the Writer

I have coffee, then get up. (Coffee in bed was part of the marriage proposal.) Nothing is done without coffee. Concentrate. it’s the COFFEE.

Hubby always gets breakfast. (yes. I know. I am beyond lucky). So I play on the computer for a half hour while he cooks. First round of email checking, deleting things I know I won’t read or get to, or consider unimportant, leaving things I need to consider.

Leave the computer, have breakfast. Pour another cup of coffee.

Alma Coffee photoGo to my computer. Load Facebook. I need to know what is going on, especially on morning-after-the-night-befores like a Brexit vote, for instance. As it always happens with social media, one thing leads to another. I respond to stuff that interests me. Then people respond to me, needing a response in turn. I glance at the clock on the wall. The minutes are ticking by.

Deal with the rest of the email from yesterday/last night. Check mail. Get a fresh batch in. Deal with those.

I need another cup of coffee.

Look over research notes. there is something I need to know. Google that. Get distracted by side-research. Finally get it under control. Go back to notes.

Then I write a few words, or a few hundred words.

Need another cup of coffee. Glance into FB. Some things need replying to.

At some point, my husband fixes our second daily meal, usually at 6 p.m.

Watch a bit of TV.

Following that, depending on how much TV and what it was we watched, it’s back to the computer and catch up on the news of the day, perhaps write some more but perhaps run out of time.

Around midnight most days, bed.

There’s a fresh batch of emails brewing for me for next morning. And so it goes.

My routine sounds like a classic case of endless procrastination, doesn’t it.

But then one day…

A story grabs me by the throat and wants told nownownow.

Suddenly everything else disappears and I tunnel-vision into writenowwritenowwritenow. I HAVE to write!

Those are the days when THOUSANDS of words happen. I once wrote a 100,000 novel, my most successful, in a little over two months.

But you know what? Those days are only possible because *I already know what to write*. And THAT happened on all those days I was not furiously putting words on screen, but rather thinking about them while I Facebooked and browsed and skimmed email – and drank coffee.

There IS no procrastination. It’s simply the way I write.

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I just wrote an essay about loss for Book View Cafe. As is almost always the case, the essay was related to one of my novels, ‘Letters from the Fire’, that was also written during one of my writenowwritenowwritenow moments.

Letters was a much smaller book and was written with a co-author. But from conception to bookstore took less than six months, practically an instant book which was based on current events.

Loss and longing

I tell people that I was born in a country that no longer exists – and it doesn’t, not on the maps, not in atlases, not on globes. It has vanished into history, now.

Novi Sad Bridges photoBut the land that the “country” maps onto, that exists, will always exist. That little piece of earth is where I first opened my eyes to the world, first knew the love of family, first saw the sky and the stars, first told stories, first watched the grand old river flow past ancient shores and underneath iconic bridges… ah, but remember those bridges. They will become important in a moment.

This was the piece of land which held my ancestral spirit and it is the piece of land where my ancestors’ bones are buried.

I did not even know how much that mattered until that piece of land became the target for an unprovoked, undeserved attack, a war waged on the strength of spin and propaganda, something ginned up to achieve a political goal by the greater powers no matter how much was lost by somebody else whose welfare they didn’t care all that much about.

I had left the country once known as Yugoslavia when I was ten years old – and it was still that, then. It was later, during a bloody series of wars of secession, that it disintegrated, and what was left of that country-of-origin was a place called Serbia. And a town called Novi Sad.

Read more at The Book View Cafe HERE

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