Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Riding the wave

My dad was a commercial artist in the days before computerized graphic design. He worked for an advertising agency and also did commissioned pieces on the side. What I never understood as a kid was how he could get completely lost in the work.

Occasionally I remembered my mom grumbling at the breakfast table because dad had been down in his office painting until 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. She wondered why he did that and how he was going to be awake enough to work all day. At the time, I remember thinking, "Yeah, why would anybody do that?"

Now I know. Writing is similar to art, at least in the kind of creative muscles you use. And there are certain days, or certain stretches, when you hit a wave and you have to go with it. So why is this blog late today? I hit a wave. Some days, the words just flow better. Characters talk. Things make sense. And so you stick with it.

Way back when, my dad knew that if he went to bed, the creative streak would be over. I wish I could go back and tell him that I get it now. That zone is worth staying up all hours of the night. It's worth making non-creative types (or pre-creative types in my instance) scratch their heads and wonder. And it was worth being a bit behind schedule. So apologies to anyone who checked in early. But dang, it was a good day.


Anne Elizabeth Baldwin said...

{Amused Smile}

My father thought the story I'm working on was a mess. I'd forgotten to explain that the box in the middle was where I went from writing out the scene to jotting notes about what came next because it was getting too late to continue. I knew that if I didn't write down something, I'd be keeping myself up rehearsing things so I don't forget them. Yet if I wrote it out normally, I'd keep myself up doing that. So... {Smile, wink}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Casey said...

Hurray for you! That wave takes you for a great ride!

Sharon S. said...

LOL, Hang Ten Angie, Hang Ten! Cause when you catch a gnarly wave, we do too!

(dated many a surfers in high school )