Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Present Moment Epiphanies

This week I'm spending time in the present moment, being present and aware. Part of me wonders whether writers are ever really in the present moment?

Yes, I blog, shlepp kids, host parties and read books but most of what I do every day is write. The biggest frustration in my life is that I never have enough time to write. Unless a forty hour day is invented within my lifetime, I will probably never have enough time to write.

And so I do what most writers do. I write in my head. Often when I'm walking to school to pick up my kids, I'm working out dialogue in my head. When I'm driving to piano lessons, I'm thinking about plot lines. When I'm on a run, I could be thinking about anything from what music best fits the scene I'm writing to how to balance my characters competing needs and demands.

Is that being in the present moment? Honestly, I'm not sure.

Clearly, if I'm so spaced off that I cause a traffic accident than my avoidance of the present moment is dangerous. But I also know that my brain works best when my body is in motion. The epiphanies, the ones that are heart-stopping and euphoria-inducing almost never happen at the keyboard. They happen while I'm driving, cooking, walking and running.

Maybe thinking about what I'm writing is my way of being in the present moment. Here's what I'm thinking about writing right now:

1. I'm stalling on the finishing of the Losing Beauty screenplay, even though I know I just need to push through and get the first draft done.

2. The first draft of Losing Hope is finished. Hooray!! Now it just needs massive edits which I will start after the holidays.
This was the closest thing I could find to what I'm visualizing for the Losing Hope cover.

3. I have a name for the third and final book in the Persephone Campbell series. I'm not certain I'll stick with it though, so I don't want to publish it yet.
4. I am dying (simply dying) to start my newest project. It's going to be the best thing I've ever written! A sure fire, award-winning success (which is how I feel about all my newest babies)!! I'm cheating on all my other projects by writing a little bit on it whenever I get the chance, but it's still not enough.
And my present moment realization for the day is this: I'm lucky to get to do something every day that feels like falling in love all over again. It doesn't get much more present moment than that.

29 comments:

SBJones said...

Those all sound like good projects to start and finish.

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Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Thanks for coming by, Johana. I really appreciate this piece and am amazed you've accomplished so much as a writer given all your other responsibilities.
I also need to be moving to get the creative juices flowing optimally.
All the best.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good news on your writing! I have a working title for my third book, just no storyline to go with it. Not good...

Jen Daiker said...

I'm with Alex - Great news on your writing!

I'm actually battling what you are! Writing, blogging, and editing! There's never enough time in the day, especially with my full 8 hour work day! Ugh. Isn't it exhausting!!!

YA Tournament of Heroines: Hermione is my Heroine... Care to join?

Johanna Garth said...

Thanks SB!

Robyn, good to know I'm not the only one who can't create while sitting.

Alex, I'm sure it'll come...when you least expect it.

Jen, thanks! Maybe we should put our heads together and look into the whole 48 hours day thing ;)

naida said...

Congrats on finishing the first draft of Losing Hope Johanna, that is wonderful. It really is something that you can juggle writing in with being a mommy and wife.
I'm curious about your newwest project.

For me, being in the present moment means letting go of the past and living life to the fullest now :)

Shelly I said...

I have asked myself exactly the same question! I finally decided that it's not just being "present" in physical reality that's important; it's being engaged and immersed in what's before me. As artists, sometimes what's before us is imagining and building something new, something that doesn't exist yet in this world. If I'm engaged fully in that, I'm present in the creative flow--some of the best space in my life.

When I specifically want to be present in the physical world (for time with my husband, with friends, physical practices like dancing, etc), I close my eyes to my writing world. Otherwise, I look for depth of experience, and if that's in my writing instead of something else around me, I agree--it doesn't get much more present than that.

Thanks for sharing!

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