True Bliss--Six Hours of Uninterrupted Writing Time
Contributor

Last night, the kids went to sleep and I stayed up, writing. Well, really revising. I am working on an outline of a novel I'm revising, rewriting as I go. That sounds so dry. Last night, it felt like feeling a pattern of beads with my eyes closed, with my fingertips, feeling the larger beads flow through the design--the protagonist's arc. 

 

 

I'm writing a challenging story, about someone who lives with a giant thumb over their head. They have always had a thumb, so that seems normal. Now, through the creative process--writing an opera--they are becoming aware of why they have put themselves underneath that thumb and why they have stayed. 

 

We all know those people, in that relationship. We all wonder why they stay. Or stayed. And why/how they can leave. That's what I want to write. 

 

Naturally, someone under the thumb is not going to be a kick-ass protagonist, at least not at first. But they have to have enough gumption so the reader doesn't want to throw them--and the book--out the window. Last night, then, I could feel that I am conquering this problem. The protagonist is learning, along with the reader, where the comfort with suppression comes from. And then, there is a twist at the end. . . It was one of those times when, as a writer, you feel brilliant and think the work is wonderful. For six hours. 

 

My days are full of interruptions. I have a special needs kid and others in my family with needs they think are special, too. We have two dogs. Three cats. Assorted borrowed children. A spouse. Meals to make. Mess to pick up (which I avoid as long as possible.) Family drama. 

 

And this was six whole hours. Six hours of silence, focus. No dog to let out, no child to pay attention to, no cat to feed, no meal to make for special diets. My husband sat quietly behind me, reading, for three of those hours. It was companionable. Luxurious. I stayed up until two am. I am paying for it today. 

 

But all the tired day long, I kept smiling, touching the memory, like a smooth stone in my pocket,  picked up by the edge of a peaceful lake.

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