Michaeline: Mental Space, Flow and Writing

A picture of many colors denoting evolution from ape to man to robot. Butterflies, corals, jungle, houses, cities

Creative flow makes random ideas feel like they have a connection and a progression. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Thursday, Kay talked about Virginia Woolf’s famous essay about how writers find a dedicated physical space and an emotional space for writing very useful – and how women writers often didn’t/don’t have that privilege.

I mentioned that I find it easy to find physical space, but mental space is much more difficult for me to carve out. I got to wondering, what exactly do I mean by that?

For me, I don’t really craft my writing until I go into edit mode. Writing just happens to me; sometimes I feel like a fountain, sometimes I feel like a conduit. I get in that state called “flow”.

And I often fall into flow – when I’m reading an interesting book or article on the internet, when I’m listening to music with a good beat, when I’m making a worksheet for school. Time and space lose their meaning, and I’m riding a mental wave that is going to take me somewhere – I’m not always sure Continue reading

Michaeline: Time Crunch

A hot air balloon with a clock face over Paris.

As Groucho Marx never said, “Time flies like a balloon . . . and fruit flies like a banana.” (Why yes, time is kicking my ass. That’s why I’m indulging in really torturous humor. Distracting myself from the pain, so to speak, or inflicting it on the unsuspecting blog-reader.) (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

I was driving to Sapporo a couple of weeks ago and listened to the SF Squeecast Episode 37 for I think the third time. The Squeecast is a great series of podcasts where SF professionals talk about what’s making them happy in the world of SF, and also about general writing. I particularly recommend this episode for the time-crunched. Maybe you can listen to it while clearing a space for writing in your office (-:.

Elizabeth Bear, Paul Cornell, Lynne M. Thomas, Catherynne M. Valente and guest Amal El-Mohtar talk about the importance of routines, and about juggling not only the different roles we play as writing human beings, but also juggling different writing tasks. There’s a wonderful metaphor Continue reading

Michaeline: A Cabin Retreat

Ah, no cooking, no cleaning, just writing, writing, writing! (A summer fantasy by Michaeline Duskova.)

Ah, no cooking, no cleaning, just writing, writing, writing! (A summer fantasy by Michaeline Duskova.)

I’m visiting relatives in the US this week, and spent Monday and Tuesday nights in a darling little cottage at Worlds of Fun Village. I can’t stop thinking about what a great writing retreat it would have made!

I’m sure you’ve read anecdotes about how this writer checked into a hotel or that writer escaped to a friend’s cabin to start or finish a book. It makes good sense. Being someplace that’s Not Home makes it easier to ignore the thousands of things at home that need to be done. A writer can sit down and really concentrate on his or her writing.

What I liked about my cottage Continue reading

Michaeline: The Mobile Writing Unit

Taken May 17, 2014 in the library, Shihoro, Japan by Michaeline Duskova

Writing on the go — on location in Shihoro!

Today, I’m writing from location in the beautiful Shihoro Integrated Training Center Library, waiting for my kid’s badminton practice to finish.

We’ve talked about home offices before on Eight Ladies. Most recently, Nancy remodeled to reflect her new career goals.  Kat gave thanks for her tidy office last November. A dedicated writing space can be not only practical, but a real talisman. It says, “I AM devoted to having a writing life, and I make space in my life, my home and my schedule for it.”

But there are many roads to Oz, as Jenny says, and it can be very productive to have a mobile writing kit so that we can write on the run. Continue reading