Friday, December 11, 2009

Resolution

Forget exercise, growing my nails,
and learning how to cook a decent roast chicken.

My goal for 2010 is to learn how to write at home and on a schedule.

It is time.

As some of you know, I just read Stephen King's ON WRITING. King believes that a writing space "really needs only one thing: a door which you are willing to shut."

This is actually a bigger deal than it appears to be. I think one reason I always end up in libraries and coffee shops is that they provide the happy illusion that I am not alone with my work.

I think I have been unwilling to shut the door.

King says:

"I think we're actually talking about creative sleep. Like your bedroom, your writing room should be private, a place where you go to dream. Your schedule -- in at about the same time every day, out when your thousand words are on paper or disk -- exists in order to habituate yourself, to make yourself ready to dream just as you make yourself ready to sleep by going to bed at roughly the same time each night and following the same ritual as you go. In both writing and sleeping, we learn to be physically still at the same time we are encouraging our minds to unlock from the humdrum rational thinking of our daytime lives."

Everything I know about science, which is about as much as anyone who reads the Science Times and those great New Yorker pieces by Atul Gawande, suggests that this is true.

My family moved this past summer, and for the first time in years, I have a bedroom with enough room for a desk. I don't yet have this desk, but it's on its way. . .

7 comments:

nanmarino said...

I think I need to re-read that book. Good luck with your resolutions. Hope you find a great desk.

Anonymous said...

I agree this is one of the great books about writing...
My new desk is jerry-rigged across the handlebars of my treadmill, so I can work while I walk.
happy new year. we're all holding our breath for you, Rebecca

nanmarino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nanmarino said...

Rebecca, you can exercise and write at the same time?! There is no end to your talents. I can't chew gum and walk. I'm interested in how this works out. Keep me posted.

Rebecca Stead said...

Nan, heck no. That wasn't me. Exercise has been moved back to the 2012 list. . . .

nanmarino said...

Sorry I misread the posts. Anonymous,I'm so impressed that you can write and exercise at the same time. Does it really work better than sitting still?
Rebecca, I love the idea of putting resolutions on the back burner. I think I'm going to move healthy eating to another year. This way I don't have to give up my addiction to cinnamon candy.

Anonymous said...

If you wrote When You Reach Me in libraries and coffee shops, I think you should keep doing that. It work for you!
I am a Children's Librarian in MA and my book groups and myself have loved you book and have had great discussions! We also played our own game of the 20,000 Pyramid.