All Things Writing

The Craft of Writing

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Out My Window

I am lucky enough to have an actual office in my home. My office has lovely big windows that face a miserable lawn and a lot of trees. There’s also quite a bit of sky. I tend to keep the blinds down when I write, as a way to minimize distractions.

It occurred to me today that it is patently ridiculous to keep the blinds drawn for that reason. For one thing, what’s going to distract me? A falling leave. A deer? The UPS guy? Those are hardly unrecoverable obstacles in the life of a writer.

It also occurred to me today that keeping the blinds drawn just reinforces the feeling that I am alone in a cave. Maybe even Plato’s cave. Maybe even staring at reflections rather than the real thing. Now that’s an unsettling thought. It sort of means that everything I envision as right-handed is in fact left-handed, and vice versa.

The final jarring thought? That I have nothing better to do than muse about what effect the drawn blinds have on my concentration and perception. Being a woman of Out My Window Winteraction, I immediately raised the blinds. The sad lawn – a result of living at the bottom of a hill – the winter-dead trees and plants were all there. So was a dazzling winter sky.

I’ve been feeling lost with my writing since my book came out this fall. It’s that sort of a what do I do now feeling. Should I continue to blog as much as I do? Should I write a proposal for another nonfiction book or see how this one does first? Is this a good time to tackle the novel I’ve been meaning to write. And what about queries? It’s probably about time to get back into that routine. And when do I find out how my book is doing so I can use that information to help me decide what to do next?

Now that the blinds are up and I can see that the rest of the world is indeed out there, maybe it’s even time to go for a walk. Nothing drastic. Just up to the mailbox on occasion. Meanwhile, I’ve also decided to blog about the business of writing on Monday, the life of a writer on Wednesday, and sportswriting and sports on Friday.

“Talk” to you soon!

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